While you could call it a remake, it would be more accurate to call what Joel and Ethan Coen plan to do with “True Grit” a re-adaptation. Well known as the only film that won John Wayne an Oscar, the Coens will go back to Charles Portis’ original 1968 novel which focused more on the character and life of Mattie rather than Wayne’s character, Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn.
Variety calls this film “their first period Oater”. I don’t know what that means since I speak English. I do know that the plot of the book revolves around Mattie as an old woman telling the story of when she was fourteen and resolved to avenge her father’s death in 1873. Today, fourteen year olds will avenge the death of their iPhones so we’ve really come a long way as a society. With the help of Cogburn and a Texas Ranger named La Boeuf, the three set out to kill her father’s murderer who is now under the protection of an infamous outlaw, “Lucky” Ned Pepper.
Sadly, this re-adaptation will push back their other planned adaptation of Michael Chabon’s “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union”. Of course, I use the term “sadly”, loosely. Instead of getting a good Coen Brothers movie, I’m going to get a good Coen Brothers movie. Not much of a loss there. I am wondering if this project will keep them on their steady one-film-per-year track that they started with “No Country for Old Men” continued last year with “Burn After Reading” and will follow-up this October with “A Serious Man”.