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Coen Brothers Begin Filming Anthology Project ‘Buster Scruggs’ This July, First Plot Details Emerge

Joel and Ethan Coen are planning something very ambitious for their new project, which is either a television series or a movie (we're still not exactly sure).

Joel and Ethan Coen

Joel and Ethan Coen


The Coen Brothers are planning something quite ambitious for their next project. News broke at the beginning of the year that the filmmaking duo was set to direct a Western anthology series under Annapurna’s new television division, but the Albuquerque Journal now reports the project is a “feature-length omnibus consisting of six different stories.”

Whether these different stories will be released in pieces or as a whole film remains to be seen, but Annapurna did say it was mulling “an innovative television and theatrical integrated approach” for the distribution. Perhaps the feature version will be released in theaters, while a television distributor will air or stream the series in six parts. There has been no confirmation on the distribution strategy yet.

READ MORE: Joel and Ethan Coen Tackle TV with Western Anthology ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’

According to the Journal, production on “Buster Scruggs” is expected to kick off in mid-July and last through September in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico. Annapurna has not made any official casting announcements yet. The report also includes story titles and brief synopses for each of the six parts:

The first of the six is about a singing cowboy and is the title story.

The second, “Near Algodones,” is about a high-plains drifter whose own fecklessness dogs his attempts at bank robbery and cattle driving.

The third, “Meal Ticket,” follows an actor and impresario of a traveling show.

The fourth, “All Gold Canyon,” is about a prospector who happily finds a gold seam but then unhappily finds an evil encroacher.

The fifth, “The Gal Who Got Rattled,” follows two trail bosses on the Oregon Trail and a woman on the wagon train who needs the help of one of them and who might be a marriage prospect for the other.

Lastly, “The Mortal Remains,” about the five very different passengers on a stagecoach of mysterious destination.

“Buster Scruggs” will be the Coen’s third go-around with the Western genre after “No Country for Old Men” and “True Grit.” Their last effort, the Hollywood comedy “Hail, Caesar!,” was released in theaters last year. They’ve also been handling screenwriting duties on films like “Unbroken” and “Bridge of Spies,” and they wrote the script for George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” which will be released by Paramount Pictures on November 3.

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