Ethan Coen feels strange not making 'Macbeth' with Joel Coen

·Contributor
Director Ethan Coen (L) and his brother director Joel Coen attend a photocall for the film "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" presented in competition on August 31, 2018 during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)
Director Ethan Coen (L) and his brother director Joel Coen attend a photocall for the film "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" presented in competition on August 31, 2018 during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Over the last 40 years, Joel and Ethan Coen have well and truly established themselves as the most popular filmmaking brothers in cinema. 

Not only did they win the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplays Oscars for their work on 2008’s No Country For Old Men, but they also picked up the Best Original Screenplay gong for 1997’s Fargo, too. 

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More than that, they’ve also written and directed the likes of Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, A Serious Man, and Inside Llewyn Davis, as well as numerous other movies, to critical acclaim, too.

Which makes it feel all the more bizarre that the brothers are splitting up for the upcoming adaptation of Macbeth. The A24 drama The Tragedy Of Macbeth, which is taking the full title of William Shakespeare’s play, has been written and directed just by Joel Coen, and is the first film to be directed by just one of the Coen Brothers. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 11: Carter Burwell speaks during the Guild Hall Academy Of The Arts 34th Annual Achievement Awards Dinner at The Rainbow Room on March 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 11: Carter Burwell speaks during the Guild Hall Academy Of The Arts 34th Annual Achievement Awards Dinner at The Rainbow Room on March 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Composer Carter Burwell, who has collaborated with the Coen Brothers throughout their careers, has now revealed that the situation feels just as bizarre to the pair as it does to their fans. 

“It’s a little different, even just the conversations I’ve had,” Burwell told Collider. “Yeah, it’s a little different to have one of the brothers there. And I know Ethan, I saw him towards the end of last year and Joel was out prepping the shoot in LA, he said it felt strange that Joel is out there getting ready to make a movie.”

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“But Ethan didn’t want to do it. He wants to do other things. So it’s going to be a little bit different for all of us, I think it’s safe to say, but I think it’s still going to be a very recognizable voice that you’re familiar with, a look that you’re familiar with, I think. I think you’ll find that.”

Despite Ethan’s absence, The Tragedy Of Macbeth is one of the most anticipated movies that had to be halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it will star Denzel Washington in the titular role, Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth, as well as Brendan Gleeson, and Corey Hawkins.