Reports out of the Cannes Film Festival have James Franco (Palo Alto) geared to direct the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel Blood Meridian with Russell Crowe (Noah) set to star, according to Deadline. The rest of the cast – which will also include Franco – sounds just as exciting with Tye Sheridan (starring in Spielberg’s Ready Player One) and Vincent D’Onofrio (Netflix’s Daredevil) also joining the project.
Published in 1985, McCarthy’s novel follows a 14-year-old boy called “the kid” during the Texas-Mexico border skirmishes of 1849. He comes across the ruthless Glanton Gang in his travels led by the evil-incarnate Judge Holden. It is likely that Sheridan will be depicting the kid with Crowe portraying the devilish Holden.
This adaptation has long been in the works within Hollywood, with various directors such as Ridley Scott (Alien) attached to the project. Franco will finally be the one to move ahead with the film. The multi-hyphenate filmmaker previously directed the McCarthy adaptation Child of God, and had already put together Blood Meridian test footage on his own dime. Franco is also a prolific adapter of critically acclaimed American authors, churning out several John Steinbeck productions, – including the soon-to-be-released In Dubious Battle – as well as William Faulker’s The Sound and the Fury.
Crowe is currently at Cannes awaiting the premiere of his film The Nice Guys and it was recently announced that he would be joining Universal’s The Mummy reboot. This will be Crowe’s first time working with Franco as well as Sheridan’s, both of which actors (although far apart in age) seem to share a similar indie sentimentality with Franco. That goes doubly for D’Onofrio who will be appearing in Franco’s latest film In Dubious Battle alongside Nat Wolff (Paper Towns).
UPDATE: It appears that Blood Meridian has been shelved following reports the filmmakers don’t yet have the rights secured to move forward.