Is there anyone in Hollywood Netflix can’t sign? The streaming giant has already signed A-list actors like Brad Pitt and Will Smith for original films, and will soon debut a film by Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese. Just this week, Netflix announced that it somehow persuaded comedy icon David Letterman to return to television with a new original series. Now, in news sure to please cinema buffs of all kinds, the undisputed streaming leader has announced that the award-winning filmmaking duo of Ethan and Joel Coen will bring their visionary talents to television for the first time in a new original series exclusively for Netflix.
Netflix’s Coen brothers project is called Ballad of Buster Scruggs and will be an anthology series. Legendary character actor and scene-stealing sideman Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) will star as the series’ titular character in six different tales about frontiersmen in the Wild West of 19th-century America. The series will also feature Stephen Root (Office Space), James Franco (Howl), and Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick).
The series is being shot on location throughout Nebraska and New Mexico, where Coen brothers films No Country For Old Men and True Grit were filmed. Joel and Ethan Coen will write and direct the series and serve as executive producers alongside Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle from Annapurna Television and longtime Coen Brothers collaborator Robert Graf.
Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix issued a somewhat subdued statement at signing such filmmaking geniuses. “The Coens are visionary directors, masterful storytellers, and colorful linguists,” Holland says, “We are thrilled for Netflix to become home to the full range of their talents.” Meanwhile, the Coen brothers issued a more terse statement exclaiming simply “We are streaming motherf—ers!”
Landing Ballad of Buster Scruggs is no doubt a huge relief for Netflix executives who are likely still reeling in the wake of losing their streaming deal with Disney. Any Coen brothers title – not to mention their first foray into television – is sure to be a huge draw.