UPDATE: CBS Films takes US rights to the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis.” It’s a big buy for CBS, reportedly with a price tag close to $4 million. The art house film, starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham and Justin Timberlake, will be helped at the box office by its big names and Coen devotees. Past CBS buys include Emily Blunt-Ewan McGregor title “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” (which made just under $10 million at the domestic box office) and Bradley Cooper vehicle “The Words” (under $12 million).
EARLIER: While any Joel and Ethan Coen movie is worth waiting for, many of us are champing at the bit to see “Inside Llewyn Davis,” their portrait of the 60s Greenwich Village folk scene that spawned Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mimi and Richard Farina and the inspiration for this film, Dave Van Ronk. Some of us hoped to see the film loosely based on Van Ronk’s memoir “The Mayor of MacDougal Street” in time for the 2012 holiday season, but it’s more likely to turn up in Coen-friendly Cannes.
We got our hands on an exclusive invite from Nonesuch Records and T Bone Burnett to a special early preview pre-Grammy screening for music industry fiolks on February 9 on the Sony lot, with a link to the first “Inside Llewyn Davis” trailer. The Coens and producer Scott Rudin (Oscar-winner “No Country for Old Men,” “True Grit”) made the movie with backing from Canal Plus and no domestic distributor. Some buyers will be there, too.
Accompanied by Dylan, the trailer’s exquisite photography by Jean-Pierre Jeunet cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel takes me back to my NYC youth. It provides tantalizing glimpses of folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) navigating the Village scene with guitar and cat, tangling with his love interest (Isaac’s “Drive” co-star Carey Mulligan) who gives him a hard time and crashing a recording session with musicians Justin Timberlake (“The Social Network”) and Adam Driver (“Girls”). Van Ronk mentored Dylan, only to be overshadowed by him. Also in the film are Garrett Hedlund (who sang in “Country Strong”), John Goodman (“Argo”) and F. Murray Abraham (“Amadeus”) as a club owner who wants Davis to perform for him in order to land a gig at his club.
The trailer leaves us panting for more.