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Tulsa’s Tim Blake Nelson stars in new Coen Brothers film to debut at Venice Film Festival

July 25, 2018 GMT

The Coen Brothers’ first Netflix project, starring Tulsa actor Tim Blake Nelson, was a surprise announcement today when the Venice Film Festival announced its lineup of world premieres.

Part of the surprise was that “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” originally announced as a six-part Western anthology miniseries on the streaming-service giant, is actually a film.

Tulsans were among the first to be clued in to this fact when Nelson — who plays Buster Scruggs — came to Circle Cinema during its own recent film festival for a conversation about his films.

On July 8 during “An Evening with Tim Blake Nelson,” he said that he thought there had been some “misinformation” about the project, because he was under the impression that it would be a movie.

He added that rather than six one-hour episodes, as had been reported, it might be broken up into six stories, linked in some fashion, that would be more in the 15-minute range for each.

Variety reported on Wednesday that the project originally created as a TV miniseries is now a 2 hour, 12 minute film.

It will have its world premiere and compete in competition at the Venice festival, which runs Aug. 29-Sept. 8, alongside new films by Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”), Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”) and many more.

“We’ve always loved anthology movies, especially those films made in Italy in the Sixties which set side-by-side the work of different directors on a common theme,” the Coens said in a statement to Variety.

“Having written an anthology of Western stories we attempted to do the same, hoping to enlist the best directors working today. It was our great fortune that they both agreed to participate.”

The Coen Brothers, of course, are the co-directors of “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” The ensemble cast includes James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Stephen Root and Tom Waits.