Home Movies Exclusive: James Franco Planning to Direct Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy Classics

Actor James Franco–headed to an Oscar nomination for “127 Hours” and getting ready to co-host the Academy Awards in February–is planning two big directing efforts.

Franco is in talks to direct William Faulkner‘s literary classic, “As I Lay Dying,” from his own screenplay.

Franco and manager Miles Levy have been in discussion for time with the Faulkner estate. They’ve also got a commitment from Fox Searchlight to bring the project to fruition.

Unlike at least a half dozen other films that have been “announced” for Franco in the last few weeks, the actor tells me this is the one he’s most attached to. He’s hopeful of getting it off the ground next spring.

“As I Lay Dying” isn’t the only writer-director project Franco’s involved in. He tells me he’s also in the process of making a deal with Scott Rudin to write and direct Cormac McCarthy‘s “Blood Meridian” in 2012. Franco and Rudin are also partnered in next fall’s Broadway production of “Sweet Bird of Youth” with Nicole Kidman.

Cormac McCarthy is a little like the modern day Faulkner, although he’s had much more luck in Hollywood. So far his “All the Pretty Horses,” “The Road,” and “No Country for Old Men” have all made it to the big screen.

And yes, this is all while Franco attends classes at Yale University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

He also just completed directing a small, indie film about the famed poet Hart Crane called “The Broken Tower.” But “As I Lay Dying”–which others, including Sean Penn, have wanted to make for a long time–will be his big studio debut.

If all that isn’t enough, Franco is bringing his art project film connected to the ’80s sitcom, “Three’s Company,” to the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontiers section later this month.

He’s also moving talent agencies, following his longtime agent, Kami Putnam-Heist, to CAA. “I’m being loyal to my agent,” Franco says, which is a rare thing in Hollywood.

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36 replies to this post
  1. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying) your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips for newbie blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

  2. Saying Faulkner was not successful in Hollywood is pretty misleading, considering that he co-wrote the screenplays for ‘The Big Sleep’ and ‘To Have and Have Not.’ Maybe adaptations of his novels and short stories haven’t been as successful as adaptations of McCarthy’s, but you only said ‘Faulkner.’

  3. […] Showbiz411 had the scoop that Franco and his manager have the backing of Fox Searchlight to bring the Faulkner tale to the big screen. The stream-of-consciousness story — about a family making a grim pilgrimage to bury their matriarch — has been a long-standing Hollywood commodity, which directors like Sean Penn have expressed an interest in. Showbiz411 says the dynamic, young actor hopes to get the project started next Spring. Franco may also team up with the equally versatile producer, Scott Rudin, to write and direct Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Blood Meridian’ next year. However, according to The Playlist (via an email to Rudin from Anne Thompson), the producer “severely downplays Friedman’s report without exactly denying it.” So devour this news with a grain of salt for now. […]

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