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Coens speak ‘Yiddish’ for Columbia

Rudin producing adaptation of Chabon's 'Union'

For their next collaboration, the “No Country for Old Men” team of Joel and Ethan Coen and producer Scott Rudin will transfer another Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s work into a film.

Columbia Pictures has acquired screen rights to the bestselling Michael Chabon novel “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union,” with the Coens writing, directing and producing with Rudin.

Chabon sets up a contemporary scenario where Jewish settlers are about to be displaced by U.S. government’s plans to turn the frozen locale of Sitka, Alaska, over to Alaskan natives. Against this backdrop is a noir-style murder mystery in which a rogue cop investigates the killing of a heroin-addicted chess prodigy who might be the messiah.

The Coens will turn their attention to the book after they shoot “A Serious Man” for Working Title and Focus.

“No Country” has become the highest-grossing film for the brothers, and the pic is nominated for eight Oscars. The Coens are up for four of them, and their trophy haul so far includes WGA, SAG, DGA, PGA and BAFTA awards.

“Yiddish” is the third Chabon novel that Rudin is translating to the screen. The first was “Wonder Boys,” and Rudin is developing a Paramount-based adaptation of Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,” which Chabon scripted.

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