The idea of James Franco (or anyone, for that matter) making an adaptation of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying makes a lot of sense. Yes, the book uses some abstract literary devices that probably won't translate well to the screen, but even without gimmickry, that's still one of the best books ever written, filled with genuine pathos mixed with huge doses of pitch black comedy. It's no wonder that Franco has also adapted Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. Both books are hilarious, but only if you're a really really bad person. Like me!
According to the LA Times, Franco next wants to adapt Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, hopefully with his brother Dave playing Quentin and John Hamm playing Mr. Compson. Also Danny McBride will be involved (Oh God, please please please let him play Benji). This isn't a done deal yet, but Franco sounds hopeful that production will soon begin.
Maybe I'm alone on this, but The Sound and the Fury was one of the hardest books I ever suffered through. Where As I Lay Dying was playful and satirical, The Sound and the Fury, like all non-AILD Faulkner books I have read, just keeps hammering you with narrative misery delivered through overly complicated and unnecessarily obstructive prose.
It will be very interesting to see what Franco plans to do with the film structurally. The book tells its story in sections separated by both time and character perspective. More than anything, I am curious about what tone this project will take. Maybe it will be easier to know what to expect when Franco's As I Lay Dying adaptation comes out. To say I'm excited for that one would be a gross understatement.