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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Story details emerge for the new anthology film from the Coen Brothers

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, was going to be a Netflix original anthology series written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and produced by Annapurna Television, is coming in 2018 for Netflix members around the world.

However, it has now turned into a feature film, but it will still keep a chaptered anthology structure.

The Western anthology will feature six tales about the American frontier told through the unique and incomparable voice of Joel and Ethan Coen. Each chapter will feature a distinct story about the American West. The cast list includes Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, Bill Heck, Tom Waits, James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Tyne Daly, Saul Rubinek, Ralph Ineson, Brendan Gleeson and Stephen Root.

Here are some details on the different sections:

  • “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” 
    Tim Blake Nelson (Buster Scruggs)
    Willie Watson (The Kid)
    This first segment finds Tim Blake Nelson playing a sharp-shooting songster.
  • “Near Algodones”
    James Franco (Cowboy)
    James Franco’s wannabe bank robber gets his due and then some. And just a little bit more for good measure.
  • “Meal Ticket”
    Liam Neeson (Impresario)
    Harry Melling (Artist)
    Lugubrious dark humour pervades the Liam Neeson starrer Meal Ticket, a gothic tale about two weary travelling performers.
  • “All Gold Canyon”
    Tom Waits (Prospector)
    Tom Waits mines a rich seam of humour.
  • “The Gal Who Got Rattled”
    Bill Heck (Billy Knapp)
    Zoe Kazan (Alice Longabaugh)
    Grainger Hines (Mr. Arthur)
    Zoe Kazan finds an unexpected promise of love, along with a dose of life’s cruel irony, on a wagon train across the prairies.
  • “The Mortal Remains”
    Brendan Gleeson (Irishman)
    Tyne Daly (Lady)
    Jonjo O’Neill (Englishman)
    Saul Rubinek (Frenchman)
    Chelcie Ross (Trapper)
    Ghostly laughs haunt this segment as Tyne Daly rains judgment upon a motley crew of strangers undertaking a final carriage ride.

“We’ve always loved anthology movies, especially those films made in Italy in the Sixties which set side-by-side the work of different directors on a common theme,” the Coens said in a statement. “Having written an anthology of Western stories we attempted to do the same, hoping to enlist the best directors working today. It was our great fortune that they both agreed to participate.”

Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen will write and direct the anthology, as well as serve as executive producers. Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle from Annapurna Television will also serve as executive producers, along with longtime Coen Brothers collaborator Robert Graf.

It will premiere at the Venice Film Festival (August 29th – September 8th in Venice, Italy).

The film is expected to hit Netflix’s streaming service by year’s end along with the requisite theatrical release to qualify for Oscar consideration.

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