James Franco To Adapt And Direct Cormac McCarthy And William Faulkner

Since blowing people away with his performance in Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, James Franco has been piling on the projects like there's no tomorrow. In just the last few months he's purchased the rights to the memoir Holy Land; decided to direct a film about poet Hart Crane; signed on to a movie about famed hitman Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski; joined the cast of the next Ben Stiller-Noah Baumbach film; and announced that he's going to write and direct a Sal Mineo biopic. Most actors are lucky to have that many projects going in a decade. Oh, and did I mention that he's doing all of this while also going to classes at Yale University and the Rhode Island School of Design? Apparently Franco really likes to stay busy, though, as he also has two more projects coming down the pipe.

Showbiz 411 is reporting that Franco will both write and direct adaptations from both William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy. The first project, an adaptation of As I Lay Dying, is the film that Franco is most attached to and the actor hopes to get it going this spring, but apparently negotiations are ongoing with the Faulker estate. The McCarthy movie is a movie version of Blood Meridian, which won't get going until 2012. Previously in development by Ridley Scott, the film would be the third McCarthy adaptation since 2007, when the Coen brothers directed the Oscar winning No Country For Old Men.

Franco is an immensely talented individual, but let's hope that he doesn't burn himself out too quickly. Yes, the guy is only 32, but it it would be terrible if by age 50 he's grown tired of it all and decides to retire. If all goes according to plan, we will see five of the actor's films in 2011, including the delayed Your Highness and the Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes. And to think, it's only the beginning.

UPDATE: Apparently Anne Thompson, via The Playlist, got in contact with producer Scott Rudin, whom the Showbiz 411 story says is working with Franco on the Blood Meridian adaptation, who downplayed the report "without exactly denying it." Does this extend to the Faulker half of the story as well? That much is unknown, but we will be sure to let you know whenever we do.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.