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As if it weren't enough that the Coen brothers are two of the greatest filmmakers ever to hit Hollywood, they're most recent film, True Grit, proved to me their directing duo's biggest box office hit, making over $170 million domestically (No Country For Old Men comes in second with $74 million). There isn't a single studio out there that wouldn't want to do business with the Coens for their next film, Inside Llewyn Davis, but it looks like they may not get a chance.
Deadline is reporting a rumor out of the Toronto International Film Festival that the next Coen brothers film may go through production without a domestic distributor in place. The project is currently set up with Studio Canal, which will handle the film in France and some other smaller territories, but for now it looks like the project will be going the indie route. Scott Rudin, who previously worked with the brothers on both True Grit and No Country for Old Men, will serve as one of the film's producers.
Set in the 1960s, the movie is about the Greenwich Village folk scene, a movement which led to the rise of singers like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Dave Von Ronk. The production is set to start up in New York early next year. Discussing the film with Deadline, Studio Canal CEO Olivier Courson said of the Coens, "Their vision of downtown New York in the 60s will be unique, the script has a feeling of fun like The Big Lebowski, and there are four great core characters."
Though it's totally reasonable, I do wonder what the motivation is behind this move. I can't imagine any studio interfering with their creative process. As always, we'll be sure to update on the situation as information becomes available.