Let’s forget that icky period from 2002-2005, and we can all agree that the Coen brothers are two of the most unique and brilliant film-makers working in cinema today. But their brilliance goes beyond awards (the surprise Oscar win for No Country for Old Men) and box office success (True Grit made almost $250 million worldwide). The Coens are a talent at truly surprising their fans by making wildly different and unexpected films. The followed No Country with the excellent A Serious Man, and now their next project may be a musical biopic.
According to the LA Times, the Coens are working on a story told in the world of Manhattan’s folk music scene in the 1950′s and 1960′s. They are basing the script on the life of Dave Van Ronk, pioneer of the Grenwich scene and mentor to a young folk singer known as Bob Dylan. Indeed, Van Ronk is referenced extensively in Dylan’s Chronicle memoirs.
The Coens hinted that music will be central to the film, and it will contain more naturalistic dialogue. While music featured heavily in O Brother Where Art Thou, it’s a big departure for the brothers going for looser dialogue, considering their scripts are normally incredibly tight and refined. But it’s also an incredibly exciting prospect to see established film-makers push themselves into new territory.
The only disappointing part about all this is that their planned adaptation of The Yiddish Policeman’s Union will be on hold for a while.