Coen brothers Hail Caesar

If the plot of Inside Llewyn Davis didn’t break your heart, the soundtrack surely did. No wonder, then, that the Coens are now ready for some sunnier fare.

Joel and Ethan Coen are reportedly gearing up for Hail Caesar, a comedy set in ’50s California. While this isn’t the first we’ve heard about this project, the plot details sound a bit different from the last time we checked on it. Hit the jump for all the new info.

According to Deadline, Hail Caesar follows a guy named Eddie Mannix who works as a fixer for Hollywood studios. At the time, stars were contracted to certain studios, and studios were therefore deeply invested in maintaining their actors’ wholesome reputations. Fixers were often hired to clean up scandals and seal up secrets, sometimes by paying off or strong-arming threatening parties.

The Coens have been working on this one for a while, and we’ve seen it change and evolve over the years. At one point, the film was supposed to be set in the ’20s and maybe center around a theater troupe. Hail Caesar has also been described as the final piece of the Coens’ informal “numbskull trilogy,” after O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Intolerable Cruelty.

More recently, Ethan Coen said it’d center around “the movie business and life and religion and faith” as well as the movie business. He also indicated at the time that George Clooney was attached to star, but the latest update from doesn’t name any stars.

Hail Caesar sounds in a lot of ways like the photo negative of Inside Llewyn Davis. It’s funny instead of sad, and trades chilly New York for sunny Southern California. More significantly, it’s also all about perfect, if dishonest, surfaces, whereas Llewyn was obsessed with authenticity and artistic integrity. I imagine they’ll make for an interesting double feature someday.

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