More good Coen Brothers news: the duo has begun casting their newest film, Hail, Caesar!, and two old Coen bros alums and pals, George Clooney and Josh Brolin have both signed on to star in the 1950s period piece about Hollywood fixer Eddie Manix. Now, where is Frances McDormand?!
Hail, Caesar! is looking like it's going to be a comedy, and since it's the Coen Brothers, it's bound to be really, really dark. And the source material is wealthy with opportunity—who doesn't love a Hollywood scandal? What's dirty than the dealings of stars and their entourages in the heyday of Hollywood? I expect some great, over-the-top accents from Clooney and Brolin (remember that drawl Clooney put on in O Brother, Where Art Thou?)
Both Brolin and Clooney have been amazing comedic forces in past Coen-directed films. In True Grit, Brolin is ungainly, unobliging Tom Chaney, the man who young Hailee Steinfeld is hunting for killing her father. His chemistry with Steinfeld is great—he doesn't take her seriously, even after she shoots him in a river upon their first encounter. It's that kind of physical, gruff humor that makes him a perfect cast member for Hail, Caesar! Brolin is also phenomenal in No Country for Old Men, where he plays the much darker role of Llewelyn, a hunter that stumbles upon a drug deal gone awry in the hazy, unforgiving atmosphere of West Texas during the 1980s; he steals 2 million dollars and is trapped in a game of deadly pursuit with terrifying Javier Bardem and his bowl cut.
But let's be honest—Clooney is the best Coen comedian, mostly because it's great to see him in roles that are goofy and unwitting. To put it simply, the Coens really like to make an ass out of ol' George, which is magnificent to watch. Of course, there's his seminal role of Ulysses Everett McGill in the southern odyssey. The greatest scene, where he and his two fellow escaped convicts try to make it onto a train, makes me love Clooney as a comedian as much as a serious actor. I'd have to say, though, one of the funniest scenes of Clooney/Coen collaboration is this one from Burn After Reading, where Clooney, who plays Tilda Swinton's lover, just cannot seem to explain his lactose reflux to John Malkovich:
No matter who plays the lead fixer in Hail, Caesar!, be it Clooney or Brolin, it's bound to be another great Coen Brothers film. I know everyone hates the term Oscar bait, but... well, you know how the Coens fare at the awards. But seriously, all they have to do now is cast Frances McDormand.