The iconic filmmaking sibling duo Joel and Ethan Coen will begin production on their western anthology series The Ballad of Buster Scruggs later this month, reports IndieWire. The project was announced earlier this year and will be made through Annapurna’s new television division. Filming is set to begin later this month in New Mexico and is slated to take place through September.
The nature of the project is still shrouded in a bit of mystery – though the series is through Annapurna’s brand new television division, new details have emerged that seem to put the series in a category of its own – a situation not entirely foreign to the Coen Brothers, whose films are known for their unique and mold-breaking nature. Annapurna has described their approach to the project as “an innovative television and theatrical integrated approach”, meaning the anthology series might be released through both television and film platforms.
Albuquerque Journal, meanwhile, in their announcement that the Coen Brothers will begin filming soon, peculiarly labeled The Ballad of Buster Scruggs as “a feature-length omnibus of consisting of six separate stories, all Westerns.” While no casting announcements have been made as of yet, the Albuquerque Journal also released brief plot details for each of the six stories that will comprise The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
The first titular tale is about a singing cowboy, while the second story, titled “Near Algodones”, follows a high-plains drifter and his poor attempts at bank robbery and cattle driving. The third will be titled “Meal Ticket” and depicts an actor and his travelling show. “All Gold Canyon” will be the fourth in the series, and will tell the story of a prospector who encounters trouble when he successfully finds gold. A story called “The Gal Who Got Rattled” will be the penultimate in the series, depicting the tale of a woman on a wagon trail and her relationship to two trail bosses on the Oregon Trail. “The Mortal Remains” will be the last story of the anthology series and will be about five passengers on a stagecoach all journeying to some unknown destination.
The prospect of the talented brother pair bringing these stories to life on television is an exciting thought. The Coens have captured the spirit of the American West with great success before: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs marks the Coen Brothers’ third project in the Western genre, with their first being the Best Picture-winning film No Country for Old Men from 2007 and the other being the 2010 film True Grit.