The benefit of having a career as diverse as the Coen Brothers is that no genre or idea seems outside the realm of possibility for them—if you told us they shot second unit on “Jupiter Ascending” there might be a moment of consideration before dismissing the idea. But a number of potential projects have trickled into press rounds surrounding their excellent new film “Inside Llewyn Davis," and now it seems they may landed for certain on their next venture.
In a recent Q&A by Thompson On Hollywood with the “Inside Llewyn Davis” cast and crew, the directing duo were asked directly about their once rumored project “Hail Caesar," a comedy thought to star George Clooney as a 1920s matinee film idol who takes on an Ancient Rome epic, and to our surprise they claimed its progress is closer than ever. “We’ve been working on that one,” Joel Coen said. “There’s a good chance that would be next.” Ethan Coen even clarified a bit more on the idea, saying “It’s about the movie business and life and religion and faith. Faith and the movie business. It’s still George.”
Conceived as the third film in their “Numbskull Trilogy” following “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and “Intolerable Cruelty," 'Caesar' was up until recently only an idea rather than a finished script; in a 2004 issue of Empire the Coens first confirmed the project’s place in their rotation and added Tim Blake Nelson in with the possible cast. But this newfound confidence in its status, coupled with the recent claim that the directing duo are writing “a sandal movie” set in Ancient Rome, point to these two projects potentially being one and the same.
Either way, Rome and the 1920s are both areas we’d love to see the directors tackle, so if 'Caesar' is as close as it seems to be, hopefully more firm details are coming soon.