Joel and Ethan Coen have had tremendous success in the western genre over the last several years. Their 2007 neo-western “No Country for Old Men” won them the Oscars for best picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay, while the more traditional “True Grit” earned an impressive 10 Oscar nominations in 2011, including best picture. The brothers are returning to the genre, albeit with an anthology twist, for the upcoming “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
Originally announced a limited television series, “Buster Scruggs” was revealed to be a feature film when it was confirmed as an official competition entry for the 2018 Venice Film Festival. The Western tells six different stories and features an ensemble cast that includes “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” star Tim Blake Nelson, Zoe Kazan, James Franco, Liam Neeson, and Tom Waits.
Unlike the Coen brothers’ other Western films, “Buster Scruggs” is not shot by cinematographer Roger Deakins. The filmmakers reunited with their “Inside Llewyn Davis” DP Bruno Delbonnel for the Netflix film. Previous collaborators such as composer Carter Burwell, production designer Jess Gonchor, and costume designer Mary Zophres are back in the fold as well. The movie won screenplay honors at Venice.
Netflix will release “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” on its streaming platform and in select theaters November 16.