James Franco has set his sights on another William Faulkner work for his next directorial project. Just this year his adaptation of Faulkner’s 1930 classic As I Lay Dying premiered at Cannes and will be released in theaters on September 27th. Now, he is gearing up to take on The Sound and the Fury.
Critical reception was extremely mixed for As I Lay Dying, but the novels bear a few key similarities that may make it easier for Franco to rely on experience for the second go-round: they utilize stream of consciousness, center on the struggles of a family, and have a Mississippi setting. As I Lay Dying follows a southern family as they try to honor the wish of the recently deceased Addie Bundren to be buried in the town of Jefferson. The Sound and the Fury, on the other hand, is set in Jefferson and follows the former aristocratic Compsons as their family and reputation crumble.
The script was written by Franco and Matt Rager, who worked with Franco on As I Lay Dying. As for the cast, Franco will be taking a lead role in this new adaptation and has indicated his interest in recruiting Jon Hamm to co-star. Other names that might be attached to the film in the future are his brother, Dave Franco, and Danny McBride, who has worked with Franco on As I Lay Dying among many other projects including the apocalyptic comedy This is the End. Father Jason Compson III and sons Quenton, Jason IV, and Benjy would seem the most likely roles for the four actors to fill, but it’s conceivable that one could play either Dalton Ames or Charlie, suitors of the Compsons’ daughter, Caddy. The elder Franco seems most likely to abandon one of the lead roles if both directing and starring proves too strenuous.
Franco is currently working on the last bits of funding, but filming could possibly start in the fall.