That three-year break the Coens took between The Ladykillers and No Country for Old Men must’ve been quite the bracer. Principal photography is still a few months away on Burn After Reading, and, already, the brothers have lined up their third post-hiatus feature with Focus and Working Title. It’s called A Serious Man, and… that’s all we know. No plot summary, no source material, no casting rumors, no production start date, no nothin’. But that isn’t going to stop me from once again donning my speculatin’ tam-‘o-shanter and trying to make news out of a 145-word Hollywood Reporter article.
Since we know the title is A Serious Man, let’s start with that. Could the film be based on a 1998 novel by David Storey, author of the British kitchen sink drama This Sporting Life? If it is, you would think The Hollywood Reporter might’ve mentioned that in the above-linked story. Still, the Coens are crafty fellows, so maybe they just elided that salient detail for their own amusement. Tell me, does this sound like a Coen Brothers movie?
"As playwright, painter and novelist, Richard Fenchurch has been both successful and rich, but now, in his mid-60s, he’s beginning to fall apart – again. His daughter plucks him from the squalor of his London house and installs him back in the old family home."
Me neither. Besides, if the Coens really wanted to be oblique, they probably wouldn’t give us the title; instead, they’d just rework what they like about the book and see if anyone caught on ala Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key (which formed the basis for Miller’s Crossing). Ah, well. It’s just good to have the boys back and busier than ever.
(9:16 PM EST Update: Variety sez A Serious Man is "a dark comedy in the vein of Fargo". So there.)