Cormac McCarthy’s Hard-to-Make ‘Blood Meridian’ Sets Adaptation from ‘The Road’ Director John Hillcoat

McCarthy's acclaimed novel has been the subject of several attempted adaptations, with Todd Field attached at one point.
THE ROAD, director John Hillcoat (right), on set, 2009. ©Dimension Films/Courtesy Everett Collection
John Hillcoat on the set of "The Road"
©Dimension Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

One of the most beloved novels from the author behind “The Road” and “No Country For Old Men” is finally getting its own screen adaptation. A film version of Cormac McCarthy‘s “Blood Meridian” is in the works at New Regency, sources confirmed to IndieWire.

First published in 1985, “Blood Meridian” is set in the 1850s and focuses on an unnamed teenager known only as “the kid” as he journeys across the American West and falls in with the Glanton gang, a real-life group of scalp hunters who targeted Indians along the Texas-Mexico border. The book initially received mixed reviews and lukewarm sales but has since been reevaluated as a classic and a subversive work in the Western genre.

Despite the novel’s fame, it has a reputation for being unfilmable due to its graphic content, dark tone, and introspective narrative. Several attempts to adapt the book have already been tried, with directors like Tommy Lee Jones, Ridley Scott, James Franco, and Todd Field attached at various points, but all have been abandoned.

The “Blood Meridian” film will be directed by Australian-Canadian filmmaker John Hillcoat. This is the second time Hillcoat worked on an adaptation of McCarthy’s work; in 2009, he directed “The Road,” a feature based on the author’s 2006 novel, to generally positive reviews. Most recently, he directed several episodes of the Showtime miniseries “George & Tammy.”

Several of McCarthy’s other work has been the subject of film adaptations, including Billy Bob Thornton’s “All the Pretty Horses” in 2000 and James Franco’s “Child of God” in 2013; the most revered McCarthy film is the Coens’ 2007 adaptation of “No Country for Old Men,” which won the Oscar for Best Picture and is frequently considered one of the best films of its decade.

McCarthy’s debut novel “The Orchard Keeper” was first published in 1965; his other novels include “Outer Dark,” “The Crossing,” “Cities of the Plain,” and “Suttree.” After a long hiatus following the publication of “The Road,” he released two connected novels, “The Passenger” and “Stella Maris,” in October and December last year. Over the course of his career, he has received several awards and honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Hillcoat produces “Blood Meridian” with New Regency and Keith Redmon of Black Bear Pictures. McCarthy executive produces the project with his son, John Francis McCarthy.

McCarthy is represented by CAA. Hillcoat is represented by CAA, Anonymous Content, and Black Bear Management.

Deadline first reported the news that a “Blood Meridian” adaptation is in the works.

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