In the Works: Coens, Woody, and More

“The Coen brothers’ secretive new project The Ballad of Buster Scruggs has landed at Netflix,” reports Zack Sharf for IndieWire. The Western anthology, shot in New Mexico and premiering next year, “tells six distinct stories set on the American frontier. . . . ‘We are streaming motherfuckers!,’ said Joel Coen and Ethan Coen in an official statement.” Tim Blake Nelson stars as Buster.

“Woody Allen just announced the cast of his new feature for Amazon Studios,” reports Deadline’s Anita Busch: “Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Elle Fanning, and Selena Gomez.” And of course, that’s all that’s known about the untitled project at the moment. Allen has so far worked with Amazon on his first series, Crisis in Six Scenes, and two features, Café Society (2016) and Wonder Wheel, whose world premiere will close this year’s New York Film Festival.

David Letterman is coming to Netflix with a six-episode series, reports Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva. “Each hour-long episode will feature Letterman conducting a long-form conversation with a singular guest and in-the-field segments, in which he will explore topics on his own. The yet-to-be-named series is set to premiere in 2018.”

Ava DuVernay, Charles D. King’s Macro and director and writer Victoria Mahoney have picked up Octavia E. Butler’s Dawn, reports Dominic Patten for Deadline. “In what is remarkably the first time that Science Fiction Hall of Famer’s Butler’s work has been adapted for TV, Mahoney will pen the series about an African-American women who works with aliens to resurrect the human race 250 years after a nuclear war. King and DuVernay will executive produce the Dawn series.”

Tim Miller (Deadpool) will direct an adaptation of William Gibson’s 1984 cyberpunk classic Neuromancer, reports Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. “This is the second project that Miller has set at Fox; Mark Bomback is writing Influx, an adaptation of the Daniel Suarez novel that is expected to launch a film trilogy. Miller’s attention right now is on the resurrection of The Terminator franchise that he is teamed on creatively with creator James Cameron.”

Chad Hartigan (Morris from America,This Is Martin Bonner) will direct Departure, written by Billy Ray (Captain Phillips,The Hunger Games), reports Amanda N’Duka for Deadline. “Inspired by Martin Caidin’s book Ghosts of the Air, which documents real accounts from pilots who have experienced flight anomalies, the pic follows a brilliant man in 1973 Miami investigating how a 727 suddenly vanished into thin air and then reappeared in the exact same spot ten minutes later. As mysterious occurrences continue to transpire with increasing frequency in the skies, the investigation becomes personal when the love of his life is on one of the planes affected.”

A “book proposal about Boston’s first female cops in the ’70s” has been picked up for Melissa McCarthy, who’ll star and co-produce with her husband, Ben Falcone, reports Variety’s Justin Kroll.

“Phillip Noyce (Salt,The Giver,The Bone Collector) will direct World War II action-thriller The Devil’s Brigade.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Rebecca Ford: “The film tells the true story of how Davie Berman, the only Jewish member of the Luciano mob, turned the tide of events against the Germans in Italy. In organizing a team of Sicilian Cosa Nostra to work with the Americans, he almost single-handedly drives the Germans out of the southern region of Italy, and returns to America as a decorated hero.”

“Principal photography is just getting underway in Scotland on the Annabel Jankel-directed Tell It to the Bees with Anna Paquin boarding to star opposite Holliday Grainger,” reports Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglioni. “The period romance is based on British author Fiona Shaw’s novel that Jankel (Max Headroom,D.O.A.) calls ‘an unholy mash-up of 1950s social and magical realism.’”

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