A Long-Time Coen Brothers Collaborator Thinks Ethan Coen Doesn’t ‘Want To Make Movies Anymore’

Joel and Ethan Coen have made some of the best movies of the past 30 years, including one Best Picture winner (No Country for Old Men), three more Best Picture nominees (Fargo, A Serious Man, True Grit), and a half-dozen other films that should have been nominated for Best Picture (Inside Llewyn Davis, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, Barton Fink, etc.). The brothers have never gone more than three years between films, but with no follow-up to 2018’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on the horizon, that decades-long streak is about to be snapped. In fact, there may never be a new movie from both Coen brothers again, according to collaborator Carter Burwell.

“Ethan just didn’t want to make movies anymore,” the composer, who’s frequently worked with the Coens since 1984’s Blood Simple, said on the Score podcast (via LA Magazine). “Ethan seems to be very happy doing what he’s doing.” As for Joel, he wrote and directed his first solo feature, The Tragedy of Macbeth, which premieres at the 2021 New York Film Festival. “I’m not sure what Joel will do after [Macbeth],” Burwell added.

[Ethan] Coen did say in fall 2019 that he was “giving movies a rest” in order to focus on his solo playwriting. But Burwell’s explanation after about two years of Ethan not participating in the making of any movies sounded more definitive than a simple break.

Now before you bash your head against a chalkboard, Sy Ableman-style, thinking about a world without new movies from the Coens, Burwell did note that the screenwriter brothers have “a ton of scripts they’ve written together that are sitting on various shelves… I hope maybe they get back to some of those because I’ve read some and they’re great. But I don’t know. We’re all at an age where we could retire, but I don’t think that’s exactly what’s going to happen.” It better not. I’m not ready to say fare thee well.

(Via LA Magazine)