Having found success with their literary adaptation No Country For Old Men, the writing and directing duo of Joel and Ethan Coen have set their eyes on a new novel to bring to the silver screen- Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.
Chabon’s novel is set in an alternate universe where Jews fleeing Europe on the eve of World War II were given the town of Sitka, Alaska to settle in. The result was far fewer deaths during the Holocaust and a different path that the rest of the 20th century took. Now in present time, the lease on the land is up and the United States government is looking to give the town back to the native Alaskans. Against this backdrop, a policeman is investigating the murder of a chess prodigy who may be the messiah.
(You can check out our own box office analyst Bill Gatevackes’s thoughts on the book here.)
The Coens will start work on the film after they complete A Serious Man for Working Title and Focus Features. They are currently in postproduction on their next film, Burn After Reading, which reunites the writing/directing team with their Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? star George Clooney. They are also lined up to write and direct the comedy Hail Caesar for Touchstone, though no start date for that film has been announced. The brothers also recently mentioned an unnamed Western project they have reportedly scripted.
Chabon’s work has not had a very successful track record in making it to the bog screen. While critically well-received, the 2000 adaptation of his novel Wonder Boys underperformed at the box office. Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures Of Cavalier And Clay has been languishing in development for years, with Chabon unable to create a screenplay he feels truly encompasses the book.