Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian is one of the greatest novels I’ve ever read. It’s certainly the scariest. People have been trying to make it a movie for years, but I don’t understand why. Its story is minimal, filled mostly with tone, allegory and tons of awful murder.
But eventually an adaptation is going to squeak through. According to Deadline, the new threat comes from none other than James Franco, king of turning unfilmmable novels into movies. I’ve only seen one example of this, his As I Lay Dying, and I have to admit he did kind of knock it out of the park.
Still, I have serious reservations about him taking on something as large as Blood Meridian. Part of what makes the book so great is that it’s so unknowable and nightmarish. Once you start nailing down visuals, you void a big part of what McCarthy’s crazy prose achieves. This sort of thing also makes me very curious about Franco's The Sound and the Fury movie.
That becomes a very specific issue when it comes to the novel's main antagonist, Judge Holden, a hairless albino with mental and physical abilities that seem almost supernatural and no issues with killing men, women, and children like crazy. His humanity in the novel is never a certainty. This is the guy Russell Crowe would play. I have a lot of fun with current-era Russell Crowe, but I don’t like that casting at all.
Franco will also be in the movie, by the way. I doubt he’s playing the book’s teenage protagonist, the Kid. Maybe he’ll play John Joel Glanton. If this is going to happen, then I guess all I can do is await the results with curiosity. But I’m giving the project some serious side eye in the meantime.
UPDATE: It sounds like this has already hit choppy waters and fallen apart due to a lack of book rights. Apparently that's something you need to adapt a novel. Who knew!