Russell Crowe is in talks to star in James Franco’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. That is, of course, according to Deadline Hollywood, who are reporting that not only will Franco be directing the project, but that he will also be appearing in it too, alongside Vincent D’Onofrio and Tye Sheridan. Empire is reporting that the cast will also include Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds.
Blood Meridian, or to use its full title: Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West, is the 1985 novel by noted American author McCarthy and is based on My Confession, a (reportedly) non-fiction work by Samuel Chamberlain. It follows the exploits of a Tennessee-born teenager known only as The Kid who comes under the wing of a gang of violent scalp hunters known as the Glanton Gang. At the centre of the gang is Judge Holden, a demonic and hairless creature who spreads fear and terror in the old west. An unflinchingly violent book, Blood Meridian is almost certainly going to be controversial if the book’s original tone is carried onto the adaptation.
For James Franco, this news represents the culmination of a very old dream. In 2014, Franco released footage of the screen test he created in 2010 starring Scott Glenn, Luke Perry, Mark Pellegrino, and his brother, Dave. In that year, Franco also released his adaptation of another McCarthy novel, Child of God (2014), which starred Scott Haze as Lester Ballard, a man violently opposed to existing within any kind of social order or civilisation.
While Child of God was met with middling reviews, John Hillcoat‘s adaptation of The Road (2009) was well received, and the Coen Brothers’ adaptation of No Country For Old Men (2007) was met with near universal approval from long time McCarthy fans and general cinemagoers alike.
A release date has yet to be announced.