James Franco to Direct Adaptations of AS I LAY DYING and BLOOD MERIDIAN?

     January 3, 2011

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James Franco is reportedly gearing up to direct adaptations of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.  According to Showbiz411, Franco has written a screenplay for As I Lay Dying and has been in discussions with the Faulkner estate.  Franco tells Showbiz411 that this is the project “he’s most attached to” and hopes to get it off the ground next spring.  Franco is also planning to adapt Blood Meridian in 2012.

Hit the jump for a brief synopsis of both books along with other projects Franco has on the horizon. [There’s been an update on this story regarding Blood Meridian.  Hit the jump for more.]

In addition to attending Yale and the Rhode Island School of Design, Franco is also keeping busy with the following projects:

Franco will be seen later this year in the fantasy-stoner comedy Your Highness and the Planet of the Apes prequel, Rise of the Apes.  He’s also co-hosting the Oscars with Anne Hathaway.

Here’s the synopsis for As I Lay Dying [via Amazon]:

One of William Faulkner’s finest novels, As I Lay Dying was originally published in 1930, and remains a captivating and stylistically innovative work. The story revolves around a grim yet darkly humorous pilgrimage, as Addie Bundren’s family sets out to fulfill her last wish: to be buried in her native Jefferson, Mississippi, far from the miserable backwater surroundings of her married life. Told through multiple voices, it vividly brings to life Faulkner’s imaginary South, one of the great invented landscapes in all of literature, and is replete with the poignant, impoverished, violent, and hypnotically fascinating characters that were his trademark.

And here’s the synopsis for Blood Meridian [via Amazon]:

An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America’s westward expansion, Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the “wild west.” Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennessean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.

Update: According to The Playlist, Blood Meridian producer Scott Rudin sent an e-mail to Anne Thompson strongly downplaying Showbiz411’s story, although he doesn’t outright deny it.

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