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Coens Set Ensemble for Western Series ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’

Written by on July 10, 2017 


Perhaps no longer content to sit back and let Noah Hawley’s Fargo pick at pieces of their legacy, the Coen brothers are getting into the TV game with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. As we predicted earlier this month, the casting would be arriving mighty soon, and now the first notices have landed.

Per the Tracking Board the Coens have filled the ensemble with some familiar players in their filmography and some new additions to the repertoire: Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Tyne Daly, Stephen Root, and Ralph Ineson are all in talks to join the ambitious project.

The western TV series, which will be released by Annapurna Television, features six segments, each of which feature different characters and different stories. As previously reported, but now updated with those attached, see details on each below:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a feature-length omnibus consisting of six separate stories, all Westerns.

The first of the six is about a singing cowboy (Tim Blake Nelson) and is the title story.


The second, Near Algodones, is about a high-plains drifter whose own fecklessness dogs his attempts at bank robbery and cattle driving. James Franco, Stephen Root, and Ralph Ineson will star.

The third, Meal Ticket, follows an actor and impresario of a traveling show.

The fourth, All Gold Canyon, is about a prospector who happily finds a gold seam but then unhappily finds an evil encroacher.

The fifth, The Gal Who Got Rattled, follows two trail bosses on the Oregon Trail and a woman (Zoe Kazan) on the wagon train who needs the help of one of them and who might be a marriage prospect for the other.

Lastly, The Mortal Remains, about the five very different passengers on a stagecoach of mysterious destination, one played by Tyne Daly.

No word yet on what network The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will air, although previous reports have rumored that Annapurna Television would “pursue an innovative approach that could combine television and theatrical.”

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