Franco tells plans to direct As I Lay Dying
There's been talk of James Franco directing a new film for a little while now, and he's finally announced what that will be. I say new film because I had originally written "first" until I saw the ten films under his director's profile. With two marked as in production, four shorts and a documentary, he's sitting there with three films to his name already.
Franco is a bit of a talent, and I don't mean in that way, and he's all too often just thought of in terms of some of his bigger roles. I'm guilty of doing that too, so hearing he's going to be directing William Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying shouldn't be surprising.
The story is quite one for him to tackle, and looks set to be another big marker in his career, and from all accounts he's set to do it. The Faulkner novel (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) tells its story from an interesting perspective, and multiple ones at that:
In the story, the members of the Bundren family must take the body of Addie, matriarch of the family, to the town where Addie wanted to be buried. Along the way, we listen to each of the members on the macabre pilgrimage, while Faulkner heaps upon them various flavors of disaster.
Now that does sound like a challenge for the multiple perspectives are going to be a hard thing to produce on the screen and manage to pull off successfully, but James Franco is very positive about the fact that he's managed to do it, and in a faithful manner, although bearing in mind that it has to be updated for the big screen.
He told MTV through The Playlist that he was out working on New Year's Day, test shooting the entire script for the film, a script which is running at one hundred and sixty pages and that he admits may be a little long. How's that for commitment though, New Year's Day and he's test shooting his entire film?
While talking about the test shoot he also started dropping some names of those who will appear in the film, Michael Shannon, Paul Dano, Richard Jenkins and Joaquin Phoenix, although bear in mind those aren't cast in stone and so far we're hearing that's his preferred cast list, and a good cast list at that.
I'm wondering how many people didn't realise that Franco had so many talents under his hat other than just acting, and I'm wondering what he'll be like in five or ten year's time. Perhaps at some future date we'll be looking back on his career as one of the great actor-director-writers of our time? There's a long way to go yet, and one film at a time.