There’s a very good chance this will be remembered as The Year of James Franco. Whether he was stealing scenes in Spring Breakers or challenging Sundance Film Festival audiences with provocatively sexual features or heading $200 million blockbusters like Oz The Great and Powerful , Franco has remained at the forefront of several film conversations this year … and we’re only in May. Now Franco’s As I Lay Dying is heading to the Cannes Film Festival, and Yahoo Movies has a preview trailer to help get audiences ready for the actor/director’s vision.

An adaptation of William Faulkner’s celebrated novel of the same name, As I Lay Dying documents the death of Addie Bundren, and the subsequent effort of several family members to honor the deceased’s wish to be buried in the town of Jefferson. The book is famous for its stream-of-conscious prose, and its sprawling effort to weave in the narratives of 15 different characters. Adapting it seems like a preposterous challenge, but Franco is an adventurous storyteller, and this film could be a masterpiece if he manages to pull it off.

We expect to hear more about As I Lay Dying as Cannes plays out later this month. Franco is putting his fingerprints all over the production, assuming the role of Darl while also directing, writing and co-producing. He has lured several old cast members to the project, which has a folklore-Western vibe to it (based on this early trailer). It could be No Country for Old Men (yay!) It also could be On the Road (not so yay). We’ll bring you updates as word floats out of France, but for now, what do you think of the first footage?

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