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The last time director-writers Joel and Ethan Coen set out to do a Western, they emerged with the acclaimed 2007 film No Country for Old Men. Now they're planning on heading west again -- to remake a classic John Wayne film.
True Grit (1961) is the story of a teenage girl who hires an aging U.S. Marshal to hunt down her father's killer. The movie is best remembered for Wayne's performance as the cranky, drunken Rooster Cogburn, a role which won the actor his only Oscar. But True Grit is also notable in another respect: it's one of the few major Westerns with a strong female lead. Played in the original movie by Kim Darby, the teenage girl Mattie is nobody's love interest, and she spends the film holding her own in arguments with screen legend Wayne.
For the remake, the Coen brothers will be returning to the original novel True Grit, which they say is darker, funnier, and narrated by Mattie herself.
"The book is entirely in the voice of the 14-year-old girl," Ethan Coen told IGN. "It also ends differently than the movie did. You see the main character -- the little girl -- 25 years later when she's an adult."
Coen doesn't mention who will be playing his leading lady, but he's got his sights set on the rest of the cast: Josh Brolin is up for the role of the killer, and he wants Matt Damon for La Boeuf, the Texas Ranger who joins the odd couple in their manhunt. As for Rooster, Jeff Bridges (the Dude himself!) will be filling John Wayne's extra-large shoes. Yee-haw!
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