I refuse to call it a remake of the 1969 John Wayne movie. Everyone keeps referring to it a “remake” and then, in the next sentence, they say how it’s going to be closer to the source novel. So, to my mind, that makes it an adaptation, does it not?
Anyway, micro-rant over, Joel and Ethan Coen have been discussing their adaptation of True Grit, the Charles Portis novel, over on FirstShowing.net. Firstly Joel confirmed that the casting news from yesterday was correct. He curtly commented;
“Yes. Jeff, Matt and Josh, that’s true — something that you read in the trades that actually turns out to be true!”
With regard to the plot and the differences between the novel and the John Wayne movie version, Ethan had this to say;
“It’s partly a question of point-of-view. The book is entirely in the voice of the 14-year-old girl. That sort of tips the feeling of it over a certain way. I think [the book is] much funnier than the movie was so I think, unfortunately, they lost a lot of humour in both the situations and in her voice. It also ends differently than the movie did. You see the main character — the little girl — 25 years later when she’s an adult.”
“Another way in which it’s a little bit different from the movie — and maybe this is just because of the time the movie was made — is that it’s a lot tougher and more violentthan the movie reflects. Which is part of what’s interesting about it.”
While Joel added;
“I don’t actually remember the movie too well, but I do remember it as being much more of a standard western, and the book is just an oddity. It’s a very odd book.”
So, we can look forward to an unusual, odd Western that will remain funny even though it’s about a 14 year-old girl whose father is killed! Only the Coens could pull that off! After their last “western” novel adaptation, No Country For Old Men, I am really, really looking forward to this and I haven’t even had the pleasure of seeing A Serious Man yet! They’re so prolific of late.