The Coen Brothers have begun putting together the cast for their upcoming Western anthology TV series, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Plot details were recently released about the 6-part series, each episode of which will tell a different self-contained story following a different set of characters.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs marks the first time the Coen Brothers have tackled writing and directing chores on series television. Joel and Ethan Coen are both listed as producers on the FX show Fargo but have no actual creative input on the series (which Noah Hawley created, drawing inspiration from a multitude of Coen Brothers works). The Coens were originally reported to be developing Buster Scruggs as a theatrical film, but ultimately decided they had enough material to warrant a mini-series treatment.
With Ballad of Buster Scruggs soon to begin filming, the Coens have begun putting together the show’s cast. The Tracking Board reports that Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Tyne Daly, Stephen Root and Ralph Ineson are all close to signing on. The site also has details about which episodes each actor will be appearing in.
Tim Blake Nelson reportedly will appear in the series’ debut episode, entitled The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, as the singing cowboy title character. Nelson previously played a singing outlaw for the Coen Brothers in their 2000 movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? James Franco, Stephen Root and Ralph Ineson will reportedly all appear together in an episode called Near Algodones, about a drifter whose attempts at bank robbery and cattle driving are foiled by his own ineptitude.
Zoe Kazan will reportedly star as the title character in an episode called The Gal Who Got Rattled, which tells the story of two men and a woman traveling together on the Oregon Trail (no word on whether any of them comes down with dysentery). Tyne Daly is reportedly set to appear in an episode entitled The Mortal Remains, which follows five different characters journeying together on a stagecoach. Two other episodes have been given titles and vague plot details but no cast is attached to them as yet: Meal Ticket, about an actor and a traveling show impresario, and All Gold Canyon about a prospector who strikes gold, but then has to deal with an encroacher. The episode descriptions all promise classic Western scenarios familiar from hundreds of previous films, TV series and pulp novels, but the Coen Brothers are sure to put a unique twist on all these stories.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will reportedly film mostly in the Santa Fe area, with work beginning in mid-July and running until September. It is expected to premiere sometime in 2018.
Source: The Tracking Board
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