James Franco Maybe Adapting 'As I Lay Dying' & 'Blood Meridian'
Though we've heard about a couple projects that actor James Franco was looking to write and direct in the future, a few more have surfaced, and they're quite ambitious. Though they're not the most reliable source, Showbiz411 heard from Franco himself that he's got a commitment from Fox Searchlight for him to direct an adaptation of William Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying. Apparently he's in negotiations with the Faulkner estate to get the project off the ground. Then Franco also revealed he's in the middle of striking a deal with producer Scott Rudin to also helm Blood Meridian, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's acclaimed novel.
With the Faulkner adaptation, Franco says it's actually the project that he's "most attached to" and is hoping to get the project off the ground in the spring. Using multiple points of view and the inner psychological voices of the characters, the story follows the members of the Bundren family must take the body of Addie, mother of the family, to the town where she wanted to be buried. Such a classic novel is quite an undertaking for an actor who hasn't yet widely proven his abilities in the director's chair. Franco has the documentary Saturday Night, a chronicle of the work leading up to one episode of "Saturday Night Live," but that's far different than directing a narrative drama.
As for the adaptation of Blood Meridian, this news comes as an even bigger surprise since name directors like Todd Field (Little Children), Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon) and even Ridley Scott had previously been interested in tackling Cormac McCarthy's novel. Largely considered to be an "unfilmmable" novel, the story follows American mercenaries in the 1850's hunting Indians in the Mexican borderland.Though McCarthy himself has said it's definitely possible to adapt his novel, it seems surprising that an unproven director is the one to do it. I'm not saying Franco can't pull it off, but it's definitely quite a bold move.
Franco is certainly taking advantage of every possible opportunity in his career from acting in films, to dabbling in soap operas and now he's trying his hand behind the camera. Keep in mind all the development of several projects for the actor to write, direct and possibly star in is simultaneously happening while Franco attends classes at Yale University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Oh yeah, and if you've forgotten or haven't heard, the actor is also hosting the 83rd Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway where he might also be nominated for Best Actor for his performance in 127 Hours. Seriously, this guy is a machine. Think James Franco has the right stuff to direct these adaptations?