James Franco Talks AS I LAY DYING and BLOOD MERIDIAN

     January 4, 2011

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Yesterday, we reported that James Franco was looking to direct adaptations of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.  However, later in the day, Blood Meridian producer Scott Rudin cast doubt on the original report.  Now, EW has spoken to Franco directly on the matter.  Franco confirms the original report by saying that he hopes to direct both films, with As I Lay Dying shooting in the summer and then Blood Meridian going before cameras sometime in 2012.

Hit the jump for what Franco had to say regarding his approach to the difficult narrative structure of As I Lay Dying and how he won over Rudin on Blood Meridian.

Here’s what Franco told EW regarding his approach to As I Lay Dying and its multiple narrators (one of whom is dead):

“You want to capture the tone, but you can’t work in exactly the same way.  I don’t believe it’ll feel the same if you divide it as rigidly as the book, like titles that say ‘Cash’ and then you’re with Cash. You can slip into the characters’ heads and give them their inner voice for a while, but it has to be more fluid because movies just work differently than books. Movies, in some ways because they deal in images, are more concrete. I want to be loyal to the book — my approach is to always be loyal in a lot a ways — but in order to be loyal I will have to change some things for the movie.”

As for Blood Meridian, Franco attempted to get into the running with Ridley Scott (who’s been circling the project for years) by shooting a scene from the novel with the help of Scott Glenn, Luke Perry, Franco’s brother Dave, and Mark Pellegrino (Jacob from Lost).  How’d it go?

“We made that as a way to convince Scott Rudin to give us the rights.  It was like, why should he give it to me when Ridley Scott didn’t make it? So I called him up and said, ‘I’m planning on doing this. You don’t have to give me any money, I can finance this shoot. Would you just wait? Don’t do anything with it until I show this to you.’ And I showed it to him and he loved it.”

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