The Coen Brothers Are Working on a Biopic About NYC Folk Musician

June 25, 2011
Source: 24 Frames

Coen Brothers / Dave Van Ronk

We might now know what the Coen Brothers are up to. Apparently the two filmmakers first hinted while at an appearance earlier this month that they're working on a "music-related film" set in/around New York City. However, 24 Frames got the scoop on details behind the project, and apparently it's a biopic about a legendary musician from the "Greenwich Village folk scene" in the 50s named Dave Van Ronk. They've got a script they're working on based loosely on his own memoirs. Their hint from earlier ties it all together: "We're working on a movie [with music that's] pretty much all performed live, single instrument," Joel said.

Dave Van Ronk was an American folk singer, born in Brooklyn, who settled in Greenwich Village in NYC and was eventually nicknamed the "Mayor of MacDougal Street" - which is also the name of his memoirs. 24 Frames adds that Van Ronk was "a big personality famed for his musical acumen, left-wing politics, general erudition and entertaining storytelling." He was also known for performing instrumental ragtime guitar music, especially his transcription of St. Louis Tickle and Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag. It should be interesting to see what kind of unique (and potentially twisted) story the Coen Brothers have crafted around this guy and the "Greenwich Village folk scene". I'm intrigued to hear more about this and their exact plans.

The Coens last film was True Grit, which earned them 10 Oscar nominations (and no wins), and they wrote the script for the Gambit remake, which is shooting now with Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman and Colin Firth. The only other bit we've heard about their future was this quote from earlier in the year: "we're working on a couple of scripts now, one of which it would be fair to call a full-on horror movie." So if they're now talking about this script for the biopic, maybe that's what they're aiming to direct next. They usually only go a year between films, but right now they have nothing ready for the fall of this year. We'll keep you updated!

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  • The first guy in the pic looks like William H Macy
  • Craig
    Meh; I'm still hoping for a horror movie.




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