It’s a TV mini-series. It’s a very long comedy film. It’s complicated. It’s Coenesque.
You might consider the Coen brothers’ characteristic mix of satire and jubilation a fine cocktail to be sipped, not a two pint beer stein to be drained in a deep, lengthy gulp.
But apparently the directing duo’s newest production, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” will also be their biggest ever.
Tim Blake Nelson plays the title character, with supporting roles by Zoe Kazan, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, James Franco and Tom Waits. The project, initially scheduled to be a six-part Netflix original series, was conceived as an anthology of a half dozen freestanding stories about the American frontier.
It is now heading to theaters after being ambitiously retooled into a single feature, according to the entertainment industry newspaper Variety. The revamped version is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival in August at an epic 132 minutes. That extends a full quarter hour beyond the size of their 1998 comedic marathon “The Big Lebowski.”
The timing of the theatrical release, expected in early fall, appears to offer the Oscar-winning brothers’ film a shot at competing in the Academy Awards. But that won’t be the only way to see it. Netflix informs subscribers that they can watch it before the year’s end in its original anthology form.