Joel and Ethan Coen announced earlier in the year that their next project would be a re-do of True Grit: the 1968 novel by Charles Portis filmed in 1969 with John Wayne. Variety reports this morning that things are hotting up, with the revelation that Jeff Bridges is in talks to play the Wayne role. Dudester Cogburn, if you will. Thank you, we'll be here all week. Oh, it's Friday.
This will mark the first time that Bridges has re-teamed with the Coens since his epochal role in The Big Lebowski in 1998. Scott Rudin, who backed the brothers on No Country For Old Men, is again aboard as producer.
John Wayne won a sentimental Oscar for his role as Marshal Ruben J "Rooster" Cogburn, which he reprised in the Katherine Hepburn co-starring sequel (there was also a further follow-up TV movie threequel, with Warren Oates replacing Wayne).
The orginal film took some liberties with the source novel by centring on Cogburn, rather than Mattie, the 14-year-old (played by the 21-year-old Kim Darby) who hires Cogburn to track down her father's killer. Scope for this to be spun as a fresh adaptation then, rather than a remake per se, and the Coens have already confirmed that Mattie will be their focus.
The brothers have mooted a western for years, and have skirted the territory before: not least with No Country. But a fully-fledged western finally being in the works is a mouthwatering prospect, and the casting of Bridges has only made us hungrier. Sign the contract, Jeff! Sign it!