At this point, James Franco can only be described as James Franco-esque: he writes books, writes reviews, does art installations and occasionally does some movies—both in front of and behind the camera. You may remember that back in 2011 Franco was circling an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s iconic novel “Blood Meridian” and shot some test footage as a proof-of-concept to get the rights to the novel. Now, in advance of the release of Franco’s adaptation of a different McCarthy novel “Child of God,” the actor-cum-director (among other things) has released that test reel for all to see.
The test sequence lasts nearly a half hour and stars Scott Glenn, Luke Perry as Tobin and Glanton, respectively, alongside Mark Pellegrino as the Judge and Dave Franco. The test centers on the portion of the novel where “Tobin recounts how the Glanton gang met the Judge.” And, writing for Vice, Franco is honest about the difficulty of the endeavor. “In some ways ‘Blood’ seems un-filmable. It is almost Biblical in its prose. His terse prose utilizes vocabulary only found in the crannies of annals of the Old West and the specialized spheres of working men. He captures the slang of forgotten peoples so deftly, it’s as if they were his barroom friends,” he said.
While we can see what Franco was trying to achieve, I’m not too sold on his take on the notoriously un-filmable novel. Maybe we can get Ridley Scott back into the mix? Watch Franco’s test footage for “Blood Meridian” below.