The Coen brothers will focus their next feature on the folk music scene in mid-20th century New York via the story of legendary musician Dave Van Ronk. Nicknamed the “Mayor of MacDougal Street,” Van Ronk was known for his musical prowess and captivating storytelling. He presided over Village coffeehouse culture and helped to discover and cultivate such talents as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Phil Ochs. Last month, at a talk at Lincoln Center, the Coens said their upcoming film would have a heavy music focus and lean toward naturalism.
In another potential music biopic, River Road Entertainment secured the life rights to The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. Oren Moverman, who wrote and directed The Messenger, is currently writing the script. The volatile musician was the force behind the watershed Pet Sounds album, after which he suffered a nervous breakdown while recording the follow-up album, Smile, which was finally released some 30 years ago.