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Coen Brothers’ ‘Hail, Caesar!’ Will Have “Musical Comedy” Elements, But Is Actually “Rather Serious”

Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Will Have "Musical Comedy" Elements, But Is Actually "Rather Serious"

If you thought you had the Coen Brothers‘ upcoming “Hail, Caesar!” all figured out, guess again. What we’ve known so far is that the movie features a star-studded ensemble — Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill  and is set across a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix. Supporting player Alex Karpovsky recently described the movie as “wacky and zany,” comparing it to the Coens’ undersung “The Hudsucker Proxy.” Or is it?

The Coens’ composer, Carter Burwell, appeared at the Tribeca Film Festival for the “Dolby Institute: The Sound of the Coens” masterclass and shared some intriguing details about the movie, painting a far more complex portrait of the film the siblings are putting together.

READ MORE: The Films Of The Coen Brothers: A Retrospective

“It’s a musical comedy that takes place on a Hollywood backlot, so you pass through all these pictures that are in production there,” Burwell explained, but he goes on to clarify that it’s not actually a “musical comedy.”

“I wouldn’t actually call it a ‘musical comedy’ — there are movies within the movie, and those movies might have comedic music, but the movie we’re making is actually not comical,” he elaborated. “I haven’t written the music yet, but I’m quite certain it’s actually going to be quite the opposite. It’s going to be rather serious, and it’s about faith. It’s not about the music.” 

And for anyone who is a fan of the Coens, maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise. Even something like “Inside Llewyn Davis” goes far beyond the description of “musical comedy.” It’s just as much a movie about loss, grief, and artistic ambition — and yes, it’s also very funny. So I’d wager that “Hail, Caesar!” will also be an interesting blend of themes and subjects, all under the guise of a throwback, screwball movie.

February 5, 2016 can’t come soon enough. [THR]

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