Now that shooting has wrapped on their latest project, the Hollywood period musical Hail, Caesar!, Joel and Ethan Coen are back on the hunt for new material. The writing/directing duo tends to Hoover up new projects as their fancies take them, announcing this and that and figuring out later what they’ll actually devote their time and resources to making. That being said, the latest property to flit across their two-man collective consciousness looks like it might land firmly in the two brothers’ darkly comedic wheelhouse, with the pair set to adapt one of Ross MacDonald’s Lew Archer detective novels.
The project in question, Black Money, is one of Macdonald’s most well-regarded books, which sees the world-weary private eye unraveling a complicated plot that winds through every social strata of a Southern California town. Working with producer Joel Silver, Warner Bros. has optioned the 1966 book with an eye toward the Coens writing and possibly directing an adaptation, presumably after everyone involved took some time to express their shock that the brothers didn’t already own the rights to the grimly witty detective story simply by dint of being the Coen brothers.