George Clooney was likely under the impression that he had played his last idiot for directors Joel and Ethan Coen following O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Intolerable Cruelty and Burn After Reading – a streak of films he so aptly described as the American Idiot trilogy – but as it turns out, the award-winning Coens had another bumbling idiot designed for Clooney to play; a Roman general, to be precise, for their upcoming period romp Hail, Caesar!
Centering on a studio fixer (Josh Brolin) navigating through the Golden Age of Hollywood, Hail, Caesar! unfolds across a single day in Tinsel Town, with Brolin’s lead scrambling across town to find and locate the kidnapped George Clooney. Said search leads him to a group who refer to themselves as The Future, demanding a ransom of $100,000.
Blending elements of comedy and musical against the glittering fame and excess of 1950s Hollywood, the Coen brothers’ soon-to-be-released feature toes the lines of many genres, though composer Carter Burwell cautioned that it isn’t necessarily a “musical comedy.” Said he:
“I wouldn’t actually call it a ‘musical comedy’ — there are movies within the movie, and those movies might have comedic music, but the movie we’re making is actually not comical,” Burwell said earlier this year. “I haven’t written the music yet, but I’m quite certain it’s actually going to be quite the opposite. It’s going to be rather serious, and it’s about faith. It’s not about the music.”
Assembling an appropriately stary roster of characters, Hail, Caesar! is rounded out by an ensemble that includes Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand, Christopher Lambert and Scarlett Johansson.
Joel and Ethan Coen’s Hail, Caesar! is set for a release on February 5, 2016.