Joe Penhall Adapting 'Butcher's Crossing' for Focus Features
by Alex Billington
December 8, 2009
The Road is a wonderful film not only because director John Hillcoat did a fantastic job of making it look bleak and beautiful, but also because Joe Penhall did a great job adapting Cormac McCarthy's novel. THR announces that Penhall will next adapt John Williams' 1960 Western novel Butcher’s Crossing for Focus Features. Before writing The Road, Penhall wrote the scripts for Some Voices and Enduring Love. Focus currently has a first-look deal with Sam Mendes, who might direct this project (pending Penhall's finished script, I'm sure). Mendes hasn't found a follow-up project to Away We Go and this has the potential to be it.
Set during the 1870s, the adventure in Butcher’s Crossing centers on a man named Will Andrews who drops out of Harvard and heads west to the small Kansas town of the title seeking "an original relation to nature." There, he joins the search for a great buffalo herd. So after all this talk about Avatar being like Dances With Wolves, we're actually going to get another Dances With Wolves-like western? I'd love to see Mendes get his hands dirty and do a western, but it's all up to Penhall to write him a good script. Knowing how close to the novel The Road was, we can probably expect this adaptation to also be the same. Anyone read this book?