Ethan Coen says it got “too hard” making movies with brother Joel

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For decades, the Coen brothers have been one of the most successful filmmaking duos in the industry. However, now, Ethan Coen has revealed that it has become “too hard” to keep making movies with his sibling.

The pair made their directorial debut in 1984 with Blood Simple before releasing acclaimed movies such as Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men and Inside Llewyn Davis.

Their last project together was The Ballad of Buster Scruggs from 2018, an anthology film with a stacked ensemble cast. In a new interview with The Times, Ethan revealed why it has been six years since they’ve released a project together. 

He explained how the last few movies they’ve worked on as a duo have been exhausting: “Hail, Caesar! was like making ten movies at once.” With that in mind, he told his brother, “I was bowing out. It’s gotten too hard.”

The filmmaker added, “I’m too old and too lazy, which he totally understood because he’s getting older and lazier himself. But not as much as me.”

Since then, they’ve made movies separately, with Joel going first by releasing the black-and-white thriller The Tragedy of Macbeth in 2021. Ethan released a documentary, Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind, the following year before sharing his solo feature debut, Drive-Away Dolls, in February 2024.

Despite taking their careers in different directions, Ethan recently teased a directorial reunion between them in the near future, although he hasn’t attached a date to their next project.

The upcoming film, which he has claimed “could be fun,” is a horror movie written and directed by the pair.

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