Joe Penhall recently adapted a work about the American landscape and the struggle for survival there, and the fact that it was set after the apparent apocalypse didn't make it feel any less true. Now The Road screenwriter is tackling another kind of adventure, adapting John Williams' 1960 novel Butcher's Crossing, about an 1870s Harvard dropout who joins buffalo herders in small-town Kansas.

According to THR, Focus Features has brought in Penhall as part of a two-year deal they have with Sam Mendes, who may be interested in directing. Mendes, who is more fascinated by America than possibly any other Brit, is also looking at the road trip-tinged comic book adaptation Preacher, and there's no telling which one he'll get to first. Despite the fact that Away We Go was, for me, a self-indulgent miss, Mendes can keep taking as many American road trips as he likes. With Penhall on board with him, it only increases the odds of things working out.

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