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Will The Coen Brothers Actually Tackle The Horror Genre?

by Aaron Fowler
February 9, 2011 11:58 AM
3 Comments
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Probably Not. Ethan Coen Also Talks 'Barton Fink' Sequel & 'Gambit' Writing Gig



The crazy and kooky Ethan and Joel Coen have dabbled in nearly every genre...except maybe horror. Sure, they've gotten their feet wet with elements of it in their debut "Blood Simple" not to mention shades in "Fargo" and lets not forget good old Anton Chigurh in "No Country For Old Men" -- but nothing has come no where near a straight-on horror flick. Well, it seems like their take on the genre may not be far off or is it?

In a recent online chat with Empire, the very sarcastic Ethan Coen dropped a possible bombshell. “Funny you should ask. Yes, we're working on a couple of scripts now; one of which it would be fair to call a full-on horror movie. Frances McDormand is the monster.” That last part is obviously the tip-off that this is all a joke. Or is it and that last part is just the wry cherry on top to throw people off? The Coens are known for their impenetrable mien in person and it would be just like them (or Ethan) to simply fuck with audiences in an online chat. And granted the brothers mention that they really don't know what they are doing next and that they are working on a handful of screenplays, but the thought of a Coen style horror flick just seems ripe for the picking and definitely something we haven't seen from the Oscar-winning pair.

Frankly, the chances that this isn't sahara-dry sarcasm is slim, but the chat also confirmed straight from the horse's mouth that "Gambit" was just simply a writing gig and seems to be well on its way to getting made, but not with Ethan or Joel involved. As mentioned last month, their adaptation of "To The White Sea" is also all but dead and buried. Wishful thinkers may as well also cross off a proposed "Barton Fink" sequel entitled "Old Fink" as the Coens do not believe that John Turturro is old enough and that “the whole thing may be more a thought experiment than a movie.”

So while you may want to take the news with a grain of salt, regardless, a horror film from the eccentric duo would be one hell of an intriguing new step for the filmmakers. Now if they only weren't just messing with us...

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3 Comments

  • Brian | February 10, 2011 10:31 AMReply

    The first five minutes of "A Serious Man" is essentially a purely formal horror story - albeit more literary than cinematic in feel. When I saw it for the first time, I was surprised by the slow-burning dread, the etherial feel and the fear it created. The Coens could make a great horror film (and I would argue that "Barton Fink" is not far off), but the question is whether or not they want to.
    Whatever happened to their adaptation of "The Yiddish Policemen's Union"? I thought that was to be their follow up to "True Grit".

  • Jacob S. | February 10, 2011 6:02 AMReply

    "The crazy and kooky Ethan and Joel Coen have dabbled in nearly every genre…except maybe horror. Sure, they’ve gotten their feet wet with elements of it in their debut “Blood Simple” not to mention shades in “Fargo” and lets not forget good old Anton Chigurh in “No Country For Old Men”—but nothing has come no where near a straight-on horror flick. "

    I don't think the Coens have EVER done a straight-on take on a genre - the closest thing is "True Grit," but all of their movies are idiosyncratic in a way that mere genre descriptions would be belittling to use.

  • Cassidy | February 10, 2011 2:51 AMReply

    Oh those Coens are mysterious even when they give a lot of interviews. You never know whether they are being serious or not. They've been doing more press than usual for True Grit.

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