The Coen Brothers assemble their greatest cast yet for Hail, Caesar!

Josh Brolin. George Clooney. Alden Ehrenreich. Ralph Fiennes. Jonah Hill. Scarlett Johansson. Frances McDormand. Tilda Swinton. Channing Tatum.

OK, so “best cast ever” may be debatable – the Coen Brothers are notorious for working with incredible ensembles – but if this isn’t the best, it comes damn close (as Colbert might put it – great cast… or greatest cast?). Hail, Ceasar! is the celebrated writer/director duo’s first film since 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis – and it’s a film Coen Brothers fans have long been anticipating. We first reported on its casting well over a year ago,  and this weekend the first trailer has been delivered. And it does not disappoint.

Unlike their last effort Davis, the film feels far from the Indie Oscar-bait that the Bros have become known for in the years following the success of No Country for Old Men. Tonally they seem to be moving back towards the likes of The Big Lebowski and A Serious Man. However, its February release date (one of the slowest months of the year) seems to indicate the studio are considering it more along the lines of Intolerable Cruelty or The Ladykillers – neither of which were particular box office smashes or critical darlings.

This does make sense though – when the duo first proposed the film back in 2004 (and reconfirmed in a Los Angeles Times interview from 2008), it was set to be the finale of what they dubbed the “Numskull Trilogy” with Clooney – which started with O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and Intolerable Cruelty (2003).

Still, the trailer gives us plenty of hope for the film, and its concept alone is both brilliant and mysterious (brilliantly mysterious?) in a way that unique Coen Brothers way. Plus, Roger Deakins’ cinematography looks incredible. This is his first film with the Coens since 2010’s award-winning True Grit. You can be a judge for the trailer yourself and watch it above, and here’s the synopsis:

Four-time Oscar®-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Fargo) write and direct Hail, Caesar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.

Hail, Caesar! is due for Australian release on 18th February.

We must note that the new Coen Brothers film should not be confused with this gem from 1994:


Though that’s a pretty great cast too, no?


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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