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Hollywood isn't quite yet at a place where the line between movie stars and TV stars has fully eroded, but it's coming, and the same holds true for those working behind the camera. Oscar winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen blew some minds earlier this year by announcing they were making the jump to the small screen for the anthology TV series The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and now our minds are blown even more by the reveal that streaming giant Netflix will be the new show's home.
Fans can expect the Coen brothers to feel right at home with Netflix, as The Ballad of Buster Scruggs sounds like it will be right in tune with the streaming service's veritable buffet of genre offerings. The series will offer up six standalone stories set in the American West of yore, with Coen regular Tim Blake Nelson taking on the title role of Buster Scruggs. Other big names reportedly involved include Stephen Root, Zoe Kazan, Tyne Daly, James Franco and more, although not much else is known for sure about what to expect.
One of the big initial projects for the Annapurna Television shingle being run by former HBO president Sue Naegle, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will be fully written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, who conceived the idea themselves before spinning it into an episodic format. It wasn't clear, however, if Annapurna still plans on giving this project some form of theatrical touch, as it was hinted at earlier on. Given how seemingly controversial it is anytime Netflix programming is meant to hit a real theater, it might just stick to streaming.
I think we can all agree that, judging from their lone official statement in the announcement, that Joel and Ethan Coen are excited about joining the Netflix ranks.
I guess they're into that whole brevity thing.
The Coen brothers are obviously comfortable within the world of Westerns, most notably having directed the acclaimed True Grit remake in 2010; if nothing else, that movie hopefully brings the Coens to get Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld involved. (As well as Matt Damon and Josh Brolin and Domhnall Gleeson and Barry Pepper and all the rest.) And for all that Netflix can boast everything from adult animated comedies to Marvel shows to Stranger Things, the company hasn't invested a lot into the wild west, Adam Sandler movies aside. That will change with Scott Frank and Steven Soderbergh's limited drama Godless, debuting later this year, so hopefully that will be a solid way to spend our time waiting for Buster Scruggs to arrive.
No official release date is set just yet for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, though Netflix will be debuting it around the world at some point in 2018. To see what else this year has to offer, check out our 2017 Netflix schedule, and then widen your choices to include all small screen offerings with our summer TV schedule and our fall premiere rundown.