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Ethan Coen may be done making films


Are the Coen Brothers Done as a Directing Duo? (lamag.com)

It seems Ethan Coen’s “rest” from making movies may be more permanent than previously thought.

The writer and director, who’s made several acclaimed and Oscar-winning movies alongside brother Joel Coen, could be done with directing for good, according to a longtime collaborator who may have let slip during a podcast interview.

Carter Burwell, the composer who’s scored every Coen brothers movie, spoke last week on the podcast Score about his work with the duo over the years. But when asked about Joel’s upcoming The Tragedy of Macbeth, the first movie written and directed by one Coen, Burwell explained that “Ethan just didn’t want to make movies anymore.”

The slightly younger Coen did say in fall 2019 that he was “giving movies a rest” in order to focus on his solo playwriting. But Burwell’s explanation after about two years of Ethan not participating in the making of any movies sounded more definitive than a simple break.

“Ethan seems to be very happy doing what he’s doing, and I’m not sure what Joel will do after [Macbeth],” Burwell added. He expects the movie to be released sometime this year after filming was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But Burwell, who has also scored films for directors Martin McDonagh and Todd Haynes, didn’t say there would be no movies written by both Coens to ever appear on screen again. He noted the brothers have “a ton of scripts they’ve written together that are sitting on various shelves.” None are currently in production.

“I hope maybe they get back to some of those because I’ve read some and they’re great,” Burwell went on. “But I don’t know. We’re all at an age where we could retire, but I don’t think that’s exactly what’s going to happen. It’s a wonderfully unpredictable business.”

A cowriting credit certainly does not mean the duo would co-direct again, meaning the last full Coen brothers movie that they both wrote, produced, and directed would be 2018’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the first time the brothers worked with streamer Netflix. Their last Oscar win was in 2008 for No Country for Old Men.

Representatives for the Coens couldn’t be reached for comment.

This would be a sad loss for the film industry if true. Although I can't begrudge someone wanting to try something different. If he's happy then good for him
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Like Soderbergh or for real?
Wouldn't shock me if he comes back at some point. He's still working on playwriting so it's not like he's retired completely. So it might just be that some time away from film to refresh himself and then having the right project would bring him back.


Makes me wonder what the split of directing is between the two brothers. Is one better than the other?
I guess we'll probably never know since I doubt that's something they would talk about. But The Tragedy of Macbeth is coming out later this year and that was all Joel with no involvement from Ethan. So that'll show us how one of them does on their own.


not tag worthy
o brother where art thou GIF


Gold Member
It's probably not the healthiest creative environment in Hollywood right now so I can't blame any non-traditional filmmaker to abandon ship.


It's probably not the healthiest creative environment in Hollywood right now so I can't blame any non-traditional filmmaker to abandon ship.
Seems like it's getting more and more difficult to get backing for projects that aren't tied to a big franchise.


Exposing the sinister cartel of retailers who allow companies to pay for advertising space.
The Coen brothers got criticized for not understanding the importance of diverse casting a couple of years ago. My guess is they want to make films their own way and not change the script or cast different actors in order to fullfill diversity criteria.


That would be a huge tragedy. Their movies have been some of the few with artistry and entertainment complementing each other fully. No Country for Old Men is my favorite movie in the last 15 years.
Did they make another good movie or is No Country for Old Men the only one?

Excuse me?

Anyway, these guys haven't been doing the best in filmmaking in recent years like the heights of their career a few years ago.

This might very well be a good thing as they've been working in close tandem since 1984, so this makes perfect sense as they are not only brothers, but work together, and that HAS to be straining after almost 3 decades.

Let's see how this pans out.
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