×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Coen Brothers Confirm Theatrical Release for ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’

The Coen brothers confirmed Friday that Netflix had agreed to a theatrical release for their latest film, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”

“Theatrical release was important to us, and they were happy to accommodate us,” Ethan Coen told reporters at the Venice Film Festival. “And I don’t even know if it was to accommodate us or their plans coincided with ours….It’s important to us that people who want to see it on a big screen are able to.”

The anthology Western is having its world premiere on the Lido on Friday. It’s one of six films that Netflix has in Venice, which has embraced the streaming giant in its programming.

The Coens said they made no artistic decisions differently because the movie had the backing of Netflix. Joel Coen said he welcomed “different companies with different business models and different ways that they exploit the product.”

“The fact that there are companies that are financing and making movies outside of the mainstream is very important,” he said. “It’s what keeps the art form alive. So the more the merrier.”

“Buster Scruggs” represents material gathered over a quarter of a century. “The stories were written over a period of 25 years. We would write these short stories and not really know what to do with them and put them in a drawer,” Joel said. “Then we decided to make them all together.”

No single story thread ties the six separate chapters together, which were originally intended for television rather than the big screen.

“I think they are complete when they all live alongside each other,” said actor Harry Melling, who stars in one of the episodes. “They do accumulate in weird and wonderful ways.”

“Even though they were completely different in mood and subject matter and sort of even generically within the sort of loose idea of Westerns, they were all kind of vaguely about the same thing and [we thought] it would be interesting to put them all together,” Joel said. “Nobody’s doing that kind of thing anymore, anthology movies, and we thought it would be kind of fun to bring it back.”

Tim Blake Nelson, who plays the character Buster Scruggs, complimented the Coens on their painstaking attention to detail, evident in the opening chapter, in which Scruggs sings the song “Cool Water.”

“Any filmmaker I’ve ever met…would’ve shot that at one place, and the production would’ve pretty much demanded that, because it’s one song; you shoot that in one place,” he said. “They shot it in three different places over three days, that one song, because of absolutely specific backdrop images that they wanted. It’s that meticulous.”

More Film

  • Aaron Paul attends the 2019 Sun

    Aaron Paul, Chelsea Handler and Meg Ryan Topline Sun Valley Film Fest

    Aaron Paul is an Idaho boy at heart. The three-time Emmy winning star of “Breaking Bad” and producer and actor on Nickelodeon’s bawdy, subversive animated series “Bojack Horseman” currently makes his home in Los Angeles, but Paul was born in Emmett, a sleepy city about 30 miles outside of Boise, and escapes to the spud [...]

  • Writers Guild Blasts CAA, WME for

    Writers Guild Blasts Talent Agencies CAA, WME for 'Soaring' Profits

    The Writers Guild of America has singled out Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency, for allegedly soaring profits. The WGA, in an acrimonious negotiation over proposed new rules about how agencies represent writers, issued a report called “agencies for sale” on Monday morning — a few hours before a fifth [...]

  • MGM logo

    MGM Hires Robert Marick to Expand Consumer Products

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer has hired industry veteran Robert Marick as executive VP of global consumer products and experiences. In his new role, Marick is responsible for overseeing the expansion of MGM’s traditional merchandise, interactive and consumer products business. He’s also developing a global strategy with a focus on core consumer products licensing, digital and gaming, [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Personal Tales From Hong Kong, China

    Personal Tales From Hong Kong and China Among the Asia Film Financing Forum Projects

    A brace of personal tales from China and Hong Kong are among the 23 projects vying for attention at the 17th Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. Liu Miaomiao is a rare female ethnic Hui Muslim filmmaker. She came to international prominence with 1993’s “Chatterbox” that won the President of the Italian Senate’s Gold Medal [...]

  • Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year

    Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year She Takes Risks in Her Film Choices

    Josie Ho vows to master the art of calculated risk in the year 2019. As an actress and film producer, she is conscious of the choices of projects she makes: appearing in the new film by Japanese hotshot director Shinichiro Ueda, producing a new documentary feature while developing some 10 titles in the pipeline of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content