How do you follow-up a broad comedy starring the biggest names in Hollywood, George Clooney and Brad Pitt? If you're the Coen brothers, you apparently hit the car in reverse and make your next effort a darker story and cast relative unknowns. Variety reports that the newly minted Oscar winning directors Joel and Ethan Coen have cast Tony-nominated stage actor Michael Stuhlbarg (The Pillowman) and TV's Richard Kind (Mad About You; Spin City) for the two lead roles in A Serious Man, their next film after this fall's Burn After Reading. The actors will play brothers in the 1967-set black comedy, which returns the Coens to Fargo territory by placing the story in their home turf of Minneapolis.

In fact, when we first learned of A Serious Man, more than a year ago (and almost a year before the Coens each won 3 Academy Awards, for writing, directing and producing No Country for Old Men), the script was described as being "in the vein of Fargo." Now we get a little inkling more about the plot of Serious: Stuhlberg will play a professor named Larry Gopnik, whose wife is leaving him and whose "socially inept" brother (Kind) won't leave the house. Hopefully, to further repeat the analogy to their double-Oscar-winning 1996 film, the Coens can cast Frances McDormand as the wife, she can then win another Academy Award and Kind (pictured above) can, like William H. Macy before him, finally go from near-obscurity to well-known, well-respected supporting actor within the next decade.