New version will stay faithful to Portis' novel

As their next film, Joel and Ethan Coen will put their spin on “True Grit,” the iconic Western that won John Wayne an Oscar.

Not a traditional remake, the Paramount film will be more faithful to the Charles Portis book than the 1969 pic, also distributed by Par.

Portis’ novel is about a 14-year-old girl who, along with an aging U.S. marshal and another lawman, tracks her father’s killer in hostile Indian territory.

But while the original film was a showcase for Wayne, the Coens’ version will tell the tale from the girl’s p.o.v.

Pic will be their first period Oater.

Project reteams the brothers with Scott Rudin, their partner on the Oscar-winning “No Country for Old Men.” The Coens wrote the screenplay.

The original starred Kim Darby as the teen, Wayne and Glen Campbell as the lawmen, Jeff Corey as the killer and featured Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper as fellow outlaws.

“True Grit” originated at DreamWorks when that company was Par-based, but it was one of the projects that Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg left behind since the original is part of the Paramount film library. Former DreamWorks prexy Adam Goodman, now a Par exec, is steering the project for the studio.

The Western steps in front of another novel adaptation the Coens have with Rudin: “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union,” based on the Michael Chabon novel and set up at Columbia.

The Coens just completed “A Serious Man,” which they scripted, for Focus Features and Working Title.

They are repped by UTA.

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