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Rooster Cogburn’s “true grit” might give the film its title, but the book is very clear in that it is Mattie Ross’s story. “It’s partly a question of point of view,” says Ethan Coen. “The book is entirely in the voice of the 14-year-old girl. That sort of tips the feeling of it over a certain way.”
"It made very little impression on me, the movie,” he continues. “We subsequently both read the book, and the book made a huge impression. I guess that's kind of why we're interested in doing the movie."
Ouch! No fans of the original then, so what will Joel and Ethan be homing in on from the book?
“I think it's much funnier than the movie was,” says Ethan. “I think, unfortunately, they lost a lot of humour in both the situations and in (Mattie’s) voice. Another way in which it's a little bit different from the movie, and maybe this is just because of the time the movie was made, is that it's a lot tougher and more violent than the movie reflects. Which is part of what's interesting about it.”
And of course, being a Coen brothers project, there’s a certain degree of offbeat appeal to mention too. “I do remember (the film) as being much more of a standard Western,” says Joel, “but the book is just an oddity. It's a very odd book.”
So in summary, they’ll be homing in on the humour, the violence and the strangeness of the source material. Sounds like the perfect choice for Joel and Ethan, doesn’t it? Now all they need is a great cast. And guess what? They’ve got one….