“People ask about whether the previous movie was a factor at all,” says Joel Coen, “whether it was intimidating in any way, but honestly, we weren’t thinking about it much – we were thinking about the novel and really didn’t care that they’d made a movie about it with John Wayne.”
Joel is one half of the patented Coen Brothers (with sibling Ethan), who together have made some of the most beloved films of the last 20+ years. The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men.
Together, they’ve won four Oscars, and are celebrated as auteurs whose works are all distinct from one another. The pair had, according to Joel, seen Wayne’s True Grit “when we were kids”, but were much more enamoured of the novel.
“We both knew the novel from a long time ago, and somehow the discussion came up a few years ago,” he says of the initial idea behind adapting Portis’ tome.
“I think we were making or finishing No Country For Old Men when we first started talking about it, and it was a while sort of getting the whole thing together. It came from the book, we both read, I think Ethan read all of Charles Portis’ stuff…”