Here's our first peek at what Joel and Ethan Coen have done to "True Grit," an update of the 1969 Henry Hathaway flick that earned John Wayne an undeserved Academy Award. (After he won, Wayne admitted to a journalist, "It's ironic that I got the Oscar for a role that was the easiest of my career. I just hippity-hopped through it.")
The Coens promised to make their "True Grit" truer to the 1968 book by Charles Portis. "It's a very odd book," Ethan Coen told IGN. "It's much funnier than the movie." But the 1969 film seems much more overtly comic than the Coens' version when you compare trailers of the two adaptations.
"The book is a lot tougher and more violent than the movie reflects," Coen added. "Which is part of what's interesting about it." Obviously, the Coens will crank up the gore as they did in their Oscar best-picture champ "No Country for Old Men."
"True Grit" is the tale of a cheeky tomboy who presses a boozy, one-eyed U.S. marshall to find the man who killed her father. The book, unlike the 1969 movie, focused mostly on the tomboy. Hmmmm ... Does that mean Bridges will have less screen presence than Wayne –- and therefore less chance of winning a second consecutive Oscar for best actor?
Here's the 1969 "True Grit" starring Wayne.
Here is what the Coen brothers and Jeff Bridges have done to it.