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Yes, yes. We’re all excited that Marvel appears to have locked up Josh Brolin to play Thanos in upcoming superhero features, notably in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. But if you ask me, I’m far more excited about the reunion Brolin’s about to have with the filmmaking duo of Joel and Ethan Coen.
Universal Pictures (via The Film Stage) reports that Josh Brolin has signed on to Hail Caesar, the next picture from the Coen Brothers, which will begin filming in the fall. The movie will be set in Hollywood circa the 1950s, where a professional "fixer" named Eddie Mannix protects celebrities from potential scandals. It’s believed that the part could be based on the former Vice President of MGM with the same name, who the site notes was "involved in various underbelly dealings of his own."
Hail Caesar is shaping up to be a major reunion on multiple levels, as Eddie Mannix will be played by George Clooney – he of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Burn After Reading and Intolerable Cruelty. Whenever he works with the Coens, you can count on broad slapstick, and several medium-sized set pieces aimed at poking barrel-sized holes through Clooney’s inflated ego. I can’t think of a better Coen collaborator than George Clooney, though others likely could argue for Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, Billy Bob Thornton, John Turturro or, OK, Frances McDormand for the win.
Josh Brolin, on the other hand, was part of arguably Joel and Ethan Coen’s masterpiece -- No Country for Old Men. (Unless, of course, you view their masterpiece to be Fargo, or The Big Lebowski, or Raising Arizona, or Miller’s Crossing, or last year’s Inside Llewyn Davis… they have made a LOT of outstanding movies!) He returned to the Coen stable for True Grit a few years later. The beauty of No Country for Old Men, though, is that it likely was the film that started alerting audiences to the potential of Josh Brolin as an aging, powerful leading man. Watch this scene and marvel at his abilities:
The Coen brothers remain on an incredible role, and while they have leaned toward drama the past few times out, it sounds like Hail Caesar will be closer in tone to Burn After Reading, a slap-sticky farce that bites the hand that feeds the filmmaking duo. Think of it as L.A. Confidential, with laughs. Now who wouldn’t want to see that?