Coen Brothers to get "Serious" in April

“A Serious Man,” one of the pre-strike priorities for Focus Features, will begin lensing in Minneapolis in April.

Little news has come out about the next next next Coen Brothers film (the next being their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men,” in theatres this November, and their next next being their currently filming “Burn After Reading” with Brad Pitt and George Clooney) since the film was first announced back in April.

“A Serious Man” will focus on Larry Gopnik, a Jewish college professor in the Midwest during the 1960s. Larry starts to question the value of life when he discovers his wife wants a divorce (she is also probably getting it on with one of the neighbors). He also has trouble with his children stealing money out of his wallet (his son is buying weed, while his daughter is saving for plastic surgery) and his deadbeat brother, who has moved in because he neither has the cash nor the maturity to live on his own. Add to that the hostile anonymous notes he keeps receiving which threaten his tenure at school, the grad student who will get a passing grade from Larry by any means necessary (who may or may not be the person leaving the threatening letters) and the hot neighbor who bedevils Larry with her nude sunbathing, and there is little wonder why Larry seeks to solve his existential issues from men of God whom he hopes will help him to become an austere and devoted man.

It is not known who may star as Larry or the members of his family, but there are places where we could see some familiar Coen Brother collaborators. John Goodman could be a good fit for the next door neighbor Gar Brandt, although with Gar’s buzzcut, he might remind people too much of the much beloved Walter Sobchak. And why not Frances McDormand for Mimi, the friend of Larry’s who helps her friend to visit the wise old men.

Focus Features is expected to release the film in the early months of 2009.

“A Serious Man” Scorecard

Directors: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Producers: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Screenwriters: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Executive Producers: Robert Graf, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner

Production Start Date: April 2008

Production Location: Minneapolis, MN

U.S. Distributor: Focus Features

Expected U.S. Distribution Date: Spring 2009