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Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen will adapt “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” for the screen. Columbia Pictures has acquired the screen rights for the best-selling novel by acclaimed Jewish novelist Michael Chabon, according to a report in the Hollywood journal Variety. The novel envisions a world in which Israel was destroyed in 1948 and re-established as a Yiddish-speaking sovereignty in remote Alaska. The Coen brothers, who have commanded a cult following for offbeat films such as “Fargo” and “Raising Arizona,” are known for integrating bits of Jewish trivia into their films.

One of their more celebrated films, “The Big Lebowski,” features a Shabbat-observant Polish Catholic Vietnam veteran with a penchant for quoting Theodor Herzl and Maimonides. Their current film, “No Country for Old Men,” was nominated for eight Oscars. The Coens, who will write and direct the adaption, will reunite with “No Country for Old Men” producer Scott Rudin for the film.

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