Ethan Coen just confirmed the Coen brothers are back in business together.
Ethan, who is making his solo narrative directorial debut with upcoming comedy “Drive-Away Dolls,” told Empire magazine that he and brother Joel Coen are “working on writing something” together.
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Joel made solo feature “The Tragedy of Macbeth” in 2021, and Ethan directed documentary “Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind” before helming “Drive-Away Dolls,” written in collaboration with his wife and longtime editor Tricia Cooke. Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Matt Damon, and Pedro Pascal star in queer road trip comedy “Drive-Away Dolls,” which will be released in September 2024 by Focus Features.
While previously promoting documentary “Trouble in Mind,” Ethan explained that the Coen brothers’ split was the result of burnout after the difficult process of shooting 2018’s “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
“Nothing happened, certainly nothing dramatic,” Ethan said at the time. “You start out when you’re a kid and you want to make a movie. Everything’s enthusiasm and gung-ho, let’s go make a movie. And the first movie is just loads of fun. And then the second movie is loads of fun, almost as much fun as the first. And after 30 years, not that it’s no fun, but it’s more of a job than it had been.”
He added, “Going our own separate ways sounds like it suggests it might be final. But none of this stuff happened definitively. None of the decisions are definitive. We might make another movie.”
Joel formerly told the Los Angeles Times that Ethan said “I think I’m going to change it out and do some other things for awhile” following “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” In turn, Joel noted that “The Tragedy of Macbeth” might not ever had been made since Ethan would not have found the material “interesting.”
“If I was working with Ethan, I wouldn’t have done ‘Macbeth,'” Joel said of the Oscar-nominated film. “It would not be interesting to him.”
IndieWire’s Brian Welk recently investigated how a Directors Guild of America bylaw (Article 7-208, or the “One Director to a Film” provision) might complicate a directorial pair reuniting. Read the piece here.
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