When last we heard, The Coen Brothers were mulling over a Hollywood-set period piece comedy about the staging of an Ancient Rome epic in the 1920s and the matinee film idol putting the film together. Well it appears that plans for the picture are firming up, as Deadline confirms that Hail Caesar is indeed coming together as the next film from brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. However, new plot details reveal a significantly different storyline than the one we heard about previously, as this new iteration takes place in the 1950s and revolves around a “fixer”. Hit the jump for more.
Per Deadline, the story of Hail Caesar revolves around a fixer in 1950s Hollywood who works for the studios to protect the stars of the day. In the studio system, it was not uncommon for the big studios to hire private detectives to maintain the squeaky clean image of their stars, since actors back then were often under contract to specific studios as well as “national treasures”. When the Coens previously described the film as the 1920s-set version, George Clooney was attached to star. It’s unclear if that will be the case in this new version, and whether their plan to tell a story about “the movie business and life and religion and faith” remains.
Regardless, I’m highly enthused by the prospect of the Coen Brothers tackling another Hollywood studio system-set comedy, since Barton Fink resulted in a masterful take on the period. The duo aren’t known for retreading old territory, though, so we can safely assume that Hail Caesar will be quite different. Hopefully we hear more about the project soon.