Since they emerged on the scene in the mid-1980s, Joel and Ethan Coen have established themselves as some of the best and most influential filmmakers we have today; with masterpieces like Fargo and The Big Lebowski or the 1991 gem, Barton Fink, that won the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Actually, many viewers and fans think that they do not have a weak link in their cannon.
As Far Out Magazine reports, when it was announced in 2019 that Joel Coen would film his interpretation of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Macbeth and that it would be his first directorial effort without his brother, many wondered what was going on and whether there had been a falling out. However, sources close to the brothers confirmed that the split had been “amicable”.
Their longtime collaborator, composer Carter Burwell, confirmed in one podcast that “Ethan just didn’t want to make movies anymore.”
While adding that the filmmaking duo has “a ton of” scripts that haven’t been produced, Burwell said: “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’s a wonderfully unpredictable business.”
In a separate interview, Ethan Coen explained the reasoning behind his exit from the world of cinema and why he wanted to focus on the theatre: “I feel totally comfortable with movies. My brother and I have been making movies since we were kids… But working on movies is such a piecemeal, technical thing. This is the exact opposite of that — this is a fluid, fragile thing where everything affects the next thing.”
Adding, “[w]hat’s terrifying about that is it can all go to hell in an instant. You make a wrong decision in rehearsals, and it’s just not like making a movie, where you can always retrieve errors and slap stuff together and make sense of it in a different way. This, my God, it’s really different.”