Whether you love him or you hate him, you have to admire the diversity in James Franco’s career choices: from starring in Oscar bait like 127 Hours and stoner comedies like Your Highness to guest stints on soap operas and hosting gigs at major award ceremonies (all while attending school, mind you), you simply can’t say that the guy is lazy.
Given all of that, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Franco is looking to beef up his resume even further by adding some directing credits. What is surprising, however, is the identity of the two projects he’s pursuing: adaptations of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.
Showbiz 411 reports that Franco is attached to direct the Faulkner adaptation possibly as early as this spring, while he’s also currently cutting a deal with Scott Rudin to write and direct Blood Meridian in 2012. Curious choices from an audience standpoint, but for Franco, the appeal is obvious: As I Lay Dying, the story of a deceased woman and her family’s quest to honor her last wishes, is widely regarded as one of the great novels of the 20th century, while the blood-soaked Blood Meridian is considered by many to be McCarthy’s masterpiece. Is Franco the right guy to adapt either one of these beloved properties? Without current evidence of his skills as a director — he just completed work on his directorial debut, the indie film The Broken Tower — it’s hard to justify his qualifications for either the Faulkner or McCarthy adaptations.
But if Franco has consistently proven anything, it’s that he’s a workhorse: whether the movies are filmed with the high quality they deserve or not, it’s a pretty sure bet that Franco will work his ass off to do his best.
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