Details emerge on new Coen Brothers film Hail, Caesar!

on April 22, 2015, 10:00am

While they kept busy collaborating or writing on various projects throughout 2014, the last film the Coen brothers directed and released was 2013’s hideously underrated Inside Llewyn Davis. True to their nature, however, they’re currently hard at work on their next film, Hail, Caesar!, which hits theaters next year and features an A-list cast of George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, and Jonah Hill.

The film, which has been in development since 2004, captures a single day in the shoes of “fixer” Eddie Mannix (Brolin), who works in the Hollywood film industry circa the 1950s. One of his predicaments involves the search for an elusive cast member who vanishes during filming. They’ve been rather hush hush about the production, but composer Carter Burwell let loose a few more details this past weekend at a panel during New York’s Tribeca Film Festival (via The Hollywood Reporter).

(Read what goes into the DNA of a Coen brothers film with this breakdown of 1985’s Blood Simple)

“It’s a musical comedy that takes place on a Hollywood backlot,” he explained, “so you pass through all these pictures that are in production there.” He clarified the label, adding: “I wouldn’t actually call it a ‘musical comedy’ — there are movies within the movie, and those movies might have comedic music, but the movie we’re making is actually not comical. I haven’t written the music yet, but I’m quite certain it’s actually going to be quite the opposite. It’s going to be rather serious, and it’s about faith. It’s not about the music.

“It’s actually pretty complicated, musically — you’ll see, the themes that I’m writing for the movie have to relate to the themes of the movies within the movie. So it’s actually this rug with all these threads going in and out. But I haven’t written it yet!” He noted that amongst the various scenes there’s also “a tap-dance water number,” which leads this writer to believe the film may be more in vein with 1994’s The Hudsucker Proxy or 2000’s O Brother, Where Art Though? than, say, their grim crime stories a la 1996’s Fargo or 2007’s No Country for Old Men.

We’ll know for sure when the film finally hits theaters February 5, 2016.