James Franco talks BLOOD MERIDIAN and AS I LAY DYING

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
January 4th, 2011

James Franco Rise of the Apes

Apparently James Franco has heard all of the web’s skepticism after yesterday’s reveal that he will not only helm an adaptation of William Faulkner’s seminal novel, As I Lay Dying, but Cormac McCarthy’s beloved piece, Blood Meridian as well.

And he’s here to calm those skeptics down a bit.

In talking to EW (via /Film) the actor revealed that while the two pieces are penned by different beloved scribes, he thinks they fit together in a “spiritual” way, saying that he thinks “they go together, though. I think McCarthy is really influenced by Faulkner.”

Now, while that goes kind of without saying stylistically, the true quotes of note come when he begins to describe how he plans to shoot AS I LAY DYING:

“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 far as BLOOD MERIDIAN goes, we all can thank Jacob from Lost,in a way. Apparently Franco was so interested in nabbing the directing gig for the film that he shot test footage for producer Scott Rudin. In that test footage, he cast Mark Pellegrino, who played Jacob on the iconic sci-fi TV series.

Now, this all comes after Rudin himself went out of his way to downplay this news, and with so many attempts at bringing MERIDIAN to fruition, it’s hard to give my thoughts about the film either way. Ihave a lot of interest in seeing what Franco can do behind the camera, but at this point, I just don’t want to put too much stake in a project that’s been so difficult to get to the big screen.

What do you think?

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