Attention all Tom Waits fans: On Wednesday, Variety reported Wednesday that the Coen Brothers’ latest project, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” will be made into a feature-length film starring Tim Blake Nelson, Stephen Root, Liam Neeson and -- wait for it -- Tom Waits.
Joel and Ethan Coen (the lauded filmmaker-duo responsible for movies such as “Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski,” “True Grit” and “No Country for Old Men” among others) had previously stated that the project would be released as a multi-part series on Netflix. However, apparently they have reversed course.
While it will now be a forthcoming feature-length film, it will still be available to stream via the Netflix platform, in addition to receiving a full cinema release later this year. According to Variety, the film features six tales (presented in a connected, anthology-style format) about the American frontier and is set to premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival, which runs from Aug. 29-Sept. 8.
It’s good news for Waits -- the famed sandpaper-voiced troubadour who famously got his start in the late ‘60s right here in San Diego -- as he hasn’t starred in a motion picture since 2012’s “Seven Psychopaths.” For the unfamiliar, he's has made quite the name for himself as an actor over the last 40 years, having appeared in such films as “Coffee and Cigarettes,” “Paradise Alley,” “Down by Law,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and many others.
And it looks like he’s going big in 2018: He’ll also be starring in the true-crime film “The Old Man and the Gun” alongside Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, and more. Based on the true-life story of Forrest Tucker, a career criminal and prison escape artist, the film is expected to be released on Sept. 28 by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
In other recent Waits news, his earliest music output -- the seven albums he released through Elektra Asylum Records in the ‘70s -- received the reissue treatment this year. Long out of print on vinyl, the albums (which include 1973’s “Closing Time,” 1974’s “Heart of Saturday Night,” 1978’s “Blue Valentine” and more) were remastered and issued on high-quality, 180-gram vinyl. That follows a similar treatment late last year given to his Anti Records catalog (1999’s “Mule Variations,” 2002’s “Blood Money” and “Alice,” 2004’s “Real Gone” and 2011’s “Bad as Me”), which were all reissued and remastered as well. All of those records can be purchased now here.