Why didn't the Coen brothers film "True Grit" in Arkansas, where the Charles Portis novel on which it was based is set? Blogger Cole Haddon has the answer in an interview with filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen:
Cole Haddon: Following that up, did shooting some pretty damn iconic Western landscapes pose additional challenges?
Ethan Coen: You know what? That’s one thing that’s not faithful to the novel. The landscape is a total cheat, but we kind of thought people will think it’s a Western, and some things you just can’t mess with. People want that.
Joel Coen: The whole pictorial idea of the movie would have been much different in a place like Arkansas. The honest answer is it kind of becomes this mishmash of different considerations that go into where you’re shooting and how you want to treat the landscape. They’re a little hard to sort out after the fact, but it’s everywhere from the practical to just what does the movie actually want to be about.