The Coen Brothers Adapting Ross MacDonald’s Black Money

And they may direct the private eye pic

The Coen Brothers Adapting Ross MacDonald's Black Money

by James White |
Published on


While they often generate their own ideas, Joel and Ethan Coen have been known to base films on other peoples’ work. Warner Bros. has them doing just that, hiring the award-winning sibling duo to adapt Ross MacDonald’s 1966 crime novel **Black Money **with an eye to possibly directing it.

While they haven’t decided whether they will actually make the film themselves, it sounds like something that could have them steering into Blood Simple/Fargo territory, albeit with more of a noir angle than the latter. MacDonald’s book focuses on private eye Lew Archer, who is hired by a jilted lover to investigate the Frenchman who ran off with his girlfriend.

As so often happens with tales like this, it’s a case Lew probably wishes he hadn’t started digging into, as he’s soon deep into a conspiracy connecting the boyfriend to a suicide from years ago and a mountain of gambling debts.

Joel Silver is aboard to produce this one, with the studio hoping it could prove a fruitful match-up of filmmakers and source material along the lines of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. It would certainly be a pivot from Joel and Ethan’s current project, ensemble comedy drama Hail, Caesar!, which is out here on February 26 next year.

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