×

Coen Brothers to Write and Direct Their First-Ever TV Series, ‘Buster Scruggs’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Joel and Ethan Coen are the latest auteurs moving into television, with a new event anthology set in the Old West.

Annapurna Television is partnering with the Coen brothers on a limited series Western called “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” Sources tell Variety that Annapurna intends to pursue an innovative approach that could combine television and theatrical.

Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the script from an original idea and will direct the project.

The Coens will produce “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” through their Mike Zoss Productions label. Megan Ellison and Annapurna Television’s president of television, Sue Naegle, will serve as executive producers.

“We are very excited to be working with Megan and Sue on this project,” the Coen brothers said in a statement to Variety.

It’s still unclear how theatrical distribution could play a part in the project, but the intent is to shoot “Buster Scruggs” as a miniseries. According to sources, the scope of the project seemed too challenging to be covered in one feature film.

The idea is similar to Imagine Entertainment’s adaptation of the “The Dark Tower” series. Imagine partners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard had planned to do something over both theatrical and television, but ended up sticking with one feature film, which Sony will release later this year.

Plot details of “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” are unknown, though it will intertwine six different story lines. The brothers are no strangers to the genre, with “True Grit” and “No Country for Old Men” on their resume.

The brothers join a list of elite directors who have crossed over to television to further develop stories that could not make it to the big screen. Among many others, David O. Russell is currently working on a series for Amazon starring Julianne Moore and Robert De Niro, and J.J. Abrams is writing and directing a limited series with Meryl Streep that is currently being shopped.

The Coens most recently wrote and directed “Hail, Caesar!” and also penned the script for George Clooney’s next directorial effort, “Suburbicon.” They are repped by UTA.

After making a mark in the film industry, Annapurna is now making strides in television and is in pre-production on a limited series adaptation of the novel “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple, with Julia Roberts attached to star.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: Jennifer Lopez 'Hustlers' Heading for $25 Million Launch

    STX Entertainment’s “Hustlers,” a comedic thriller about strip-club employees seeking revenge, is expected to earn $25 million when it opens on Sept. 13, according to early tracking. The movie — starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Cardi B and Lizzo — will debut alongside Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch.” The drama, based on [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Lays Off 35 Corporate Staffers

    AMC Entertainment has laid off 35 corporate staffers and will not fill an additional 15 open jobs. The Kansas-based chain made the announcement Thursday as part of a previously announced “profit improvement plan” intended to achieve operating and administrative efficiencies. AMC, which operates more than 10,000 movie screens, had disclosed the plan on Aug. 8 [...]

  • Ann Sarnoff Warner Bros

    Ann Sarnoff Formally Takes Reins of Warner Bros. as CEO

    The Ann Sarnoff era at Warner Bros. has begun. Sarnoff formally took the reins as Warner Bros. chair-CEO on Thursday, two months after she was appointed to the post. Sarnoff told employees in a memo that she has been impressed by the company’s track record during the past year amid a period of upheaval for [...]

  • Take Me Somewhere Nice review

    Ena Sendijarevic on Migration, Identity and the Question of Belonging

    Bosnian filmmaker Ena Sendijarević had an auspicious debut with “Import,” a short film which world premiered in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2016. Drawing on her own family’s personal history, the Amsterdam-based director crafted an idiosyncratic tale about a family of Bosnian refugees trying to make a new home in the Netherlands. With her feature debut, [...]

  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Haugesund Prizes ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire,’ ‘Him,’ ‘Ballon’

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Celine Sciamma’s intellectually dexterous, bittersweet love tale “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” has claimed another heart, taking home The Norwegian Film-Critics’ Prize at the Haugesund Film Festival’s closing night on Thursday. The festival, which runs over August 17-23, capped its 47th edition with a screening of André Løyning and Kristian Landmark’s [...]

  • Motherless Brooklyn Edward Norton

    Edward Norton Investigates Murder in 'Motherless Brooklyn' Trailer

    The trailer for Edward Norton’s forthcoming crime drama “Motherless Brooklyn” is officially out. Warner Bros.’ drama, based on the 1999 novel by Jonathan Lethem, follows Lionel Essrog, a young man who works for a small-time mobster in Brooklyn while struggling with an intense case of Tourette Syndrome. “Okay, listen, I got something wrong with me, [...]

  • Summer Box Office

    Box Office Report Card: Studios Get Their Summer Grades

    Studios got badly burned this summer. From May to August, popcorn season in movie speak, the film flops piled up and the big hits were few and far between for nearly every company except Disney. As a whole, summer did little to instill confidence in the state of moviegoing. To be sure, there were successes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content