Perhaps you’ve been wondering what the Coen Brothers have been doing since “Inside Llewyn Davis”? Rather a lot! They’ve got a movie in the can coming out in February of 2016, the Hollywood comedy “Hail, Caesar!” starring George Clooney, Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson. They’ve also been doing a lot of writing, penning Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” screenplay and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming “Bridge of Spies” (they also wrote the “Gambit” remake in 2012). One more writing assignment is coming down the pipeline, and they also could direct the project.
Los Bros Coen are going to write an adaptation of Ross MacDonald’s crime novel “Black Money.” If that sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because a movie was already adapted from the book: the same lead character was played by Paul Newman in the very underrated crime thrillers “Harper” (1966) and “The Drowning Pool” (1975). Both look terrific, since they were shot by Conrad L. Hall and Gordon Willis, respectively. But neither movie is based on MacDonald’s “Black Money” —the connection is simply the same gumshoe lead character. The Coen brothers could direct, but a film directed by the pair and produced by Joel Silver would be the first as such in a long time (he produced “The Hudsucker Proxy” way back in the day).
The plot centers on a spurned lover who hires private investigator Lew Archer to expose the suave Frenchman who has run off with his client’s girlfriend. Archer follows a trail that leads to a deep conspiracy, as the mysterious paramour is connected to a seven-year-old suicide and a ton of gambling debts.
It would be great to see the Coens tackle material like this, but they tend to function as their own producers in conjunction with folks like Scott Rudin, Tim Bevan, or just by themselves (like they did most recently for “A Serious Man”), so we should wait and see before we proclaim it their next project.