If you’ve ever hoped that the Coen brothers genre-hopping from screwball comedy to gangster noir to crime thriller would eventually lead them down the dusty trail to frontier justice, this week brought exciting news that the Coen gang plans to remake John Wayne’s 1969 Oscar-vehicle, True Grit. Plans are to ignore the previous movie and go back to the source for a more faithful adaptation of the original novel by Charles Portis. Here are some significant differences, via Wikipedia:
Unlike the book, the movie doesn‚Äôt introduce Mattie as an old woman telling a story of her childhood, but instead begins and ends in 1880, when Mattie is 14 years old. Also, in the book, Mattie remains the central character throughout; in the movie, Mattie starts out as the main character, but Rooster Cogburn gets an equal share of the limelight once his character is introduced. The film also downplays the novel’s Biblical tone and adds a hint of romance between Mattie and La Boeuf. La Boeuf also does not die in the novel, but survives his head injury. Another significant difference from author Charles Portis’ original tale is that Mattie does not have her arm amputated as a result of the rattlesnake attack, in contrast to the final scene in the film where Kim Darby is seen with only a sling on her arm–indicating that she is recovering from the snake bites and intact physically. The novel’s conclusion makes the reader aware that the story has been recounted by Mattie as an elderly, one-armed woman who never married.
We don’t need no stinkin’ arm sling.