Now that man-of-many-talents James Franco’s Cormac McCarthy adaptation Child of God is safely in post-production, it seems he’s about to start work on another literary classic, As I Lay Dying. Franco has already lined up Danny McBride, Tim Blake Nelson, Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Jim Parrack (True Blood), and Ahna O’Reilly (The Help) to star in his latest project and directorial debut.
We’re looking at a fall start for As I Lay Dying, after Franco first contacted the William Faulkner estate two winters ago – looks like he’s finally got them onboard for a big screen adaptation.
According to /Film, things are already coming together for Franco to begin shooting in Mississippi this October. His earlier indie efforts have mostly flown under the radar, but this one’s being backed by Avi Lerner‘s Millennium Films, the company behind The Paperboy, The Expendables 2, and Playing for Keeps –so it seems it’s already off to a promising start.
Faulkner’s book is written in such a way that over a dozen different narrative voices are used to recount the death and burial of Abbie Bundren, the matriarch of a lower-class Southern family – and because of the structure, it’s been difficult to adapt into other forms of media. Franco seems aware of the nature of the project he’s taken on, and /Film notes that the actor seems to know what he’s doing, as he explained last year:
“You want to capture the tone, but you can’t work in exactly the same way. 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. ”
It’s not clear yet which roles the actors will play, but Franco’s part is apparently quite a small one, with the remainder of his cast comprised of some familiar faces. /Film also notes that Parrack appeared in Franco’s movies Child of God and Sal, and co-starred with Franco in Annapolis. Nelson also starred in Franco’s Child of God as well as the upcoming NYU project Black Dog Red Dog – which also featured Marshall-Green and Franco. O’Reilly, a former girlfriend of Franco’s, had a small part in his Good Time Max. McBride has co-starred with Franco in the David Gordon Green comedies Pineapple Express and Your Highness.
Franco himself is keeping busy, and this project is just one in many that he’s got in the pipeline. He just directed himself in a commercial for the Samsung Galaxy Note and, on the other end of the spectrum, has been working on an art film inspired by William Friedkin’s gay murder mystery, Cruising. Rumor has it he’s also going to direct a fictionalized biopic of Lindsay Lohan… or something. Ermmmm… right.
Will you be watching As I Lay Dying?