Coens, Working Title, Focus getting 'Serious'

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NEW YORK -- Indie mavericks Joel and Ethan Coen will write, produce and direct the dark comedy "A Serious Man," the second announced film in a two-picture pact with Focus Features and Working Title Films.

The first feature in the deal is the spy comedy "Burn After Reading," starring Brad Pitt and longtime Coen brothers collaborators George Clooney and Frances McDormand.

Production is set to begin in late summer, with "Serious" slated to be the Coens' next film for the companies, Focus CEO James Schamus and Working Title co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner said.

Bevan and Fellner will serve as executive producers on both projects.

McDormand, wife of Joel Coen, won an Oscar in 1996 for the brothers' quirky crime comedy "Fargo."

The Coens are completing postproduction on their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel "No Country for Old Men," which is slated to premiere next month at the Festival de Cannes.

UTA, repping the Coens, brokered the deal with Focus.
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