Is an Ancient Rome or an Opera Comedy Next for Coen Brothers?

By Will Ashton

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

With Inside Llewyn Davis, the latest film from writers/directors Joel and Ethan Coen, coming out in limited release today, it’s time to look forward to what future projects the brothers have in store next. It appears that the two have some things in mind, as they are currently working on not one, but two separate writing projects.

In a conversation with Vulture, when asked if they would ever like to move forward into full-on movie musical territory, they said the following:

Joel Coen: “I think this is kind of as close to a full-blown musical as we would make. Certainly, there’s as much music in this movie as in any full-blown musical.”

Ethan Coen: “But one of the two things we’re writing right now, it’s not a musical per se …”

Joel Coen: “… but it has what might be considered more traditional musical numbers,”

Ethan Coen: “It’s a musical comedy.”

Joel talked about a similar movie when at Telluride Film Festival when he said:

“You always hesitate to mention these things when you are in the middle of them, because sometimes they just go in a drawer and never surface again and then people ask ‘what ever happened to that thing’ for the next 20 years. We are writing something right now where the main character is an opera singer.”

So, it’s probably that, which would be a great source of material for the directors.

Meanwhile, when speaking to the Associated Press, they revealed that they were “writing a big script” set in Ancient Rome. Although, based on their comments, it appears that they could just being cheeky with the reporter.

They said:

”It’s like: Would you ever do a sandal movie?”Ethan added, “We’re interested in the big questions. And we don’t (expletive) around with subtext. This one especially…. It’s not like our piddly ‘A Serious Man.’” Joel follows up with: “That was a cop-out. We just totally chickened out on that one.”

Which one of these will come together first? We’ll have to see. No matter what, however, I’ll be there.


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