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Coen Brothers set to reunite for ‘pure horror’ film: ‘It gets very bloody’

Ethan Coen teased: ‘If you like ‘Blood Simple’, I think you’ll enjoy it.’

Kevin E G Perry
Monday 29 January 2024 23:19 GMT
The Coen brothers will co-preside over Cannes

The Coen Brothers are set to reunite to make a “very bloody” horror film.

The acclaimed sibling directors last worked together on 2018’s Western anthology film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Since then, Joel Coen has made an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth starring Denzel Washington, while Ethan Coen will soon release the comedy road movie Drive-Away Dolls, co-written with his wife Tricia Cooke and starring Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan and Beanie Feldstein.

At a Drive-Away Dolls Q&A event in Tromsø, Norway last Friday, Ethan Coen revealed that he and Joel have written a new script together and that they intend to reunite to collaborate on the film’s direction.

“It’s a pure horror film, and it gets very bloody,” said Coen, who also hinted that the film is in some ways reminiscent of the brothers’ first film, 1984’s violent neo-noir Blood Simple.

“If you like Blood Simple, I think you’ll enjoy it,” teased Coen, while Cooke added that the script is “horribly funny”.

Ethan and Joel Coen at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

It was recently confirmed that Coen and Cooke will follow Drive-Away Dolls with another dark comedy, Honey Don’t! The project will reunite them with star Margaret Qualley, as well as Aubrey Plaza and Chris Evans. The film is reportedly set in Bakersfield, California and will feature Evans in the role of a cult leader.

Coen and Cooke previously collaborated on the 2022 music documentary Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind. At the time, Coen explained the brothers’ decision to focus on separate projects by saying: “You start out when you’re a kid and you want to make a movie. Everything’s enthusiasm and gung-ho, let’s go make a movie. And the first movie is just loads of fun.

“And then the second movie is loads of fun, almost as much fun as the first. And after 30 years, not that it’s no fun, but it’s more of a job than it had been. Joel kind of felt the same way but not to the extent that I did.

“It’s an inevitable by-product of aging. And the last two movies we made, me and Joel together, were really difficult in terms of production. I mean, really difficult. So if you don’t have to do it, you go at a certain point: Why am I doing this?”

The Independent included Drive-Away Dolls in a list of the 24 most-anticipated films of 2024, writing: “The Ethan half of the Coen Brothers has directed and co-written a lesbian caper movie in which Margaret Qualley and Blockers star Geraldine Viswanathan get their hands on a mysterious briefcase and tangle with crooks and criminals played by the likes of Pedro Pascal, Matt Damon and Colman Domingo. Honestly, some movies just sell themselves.”

Drive-Away Dolls is set to arrive in cinemas on 23 February.

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