James Franco Planning To Adapt Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Child of God’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 5th, 2013 at 1:59 pm,

Remember at the beginning of this year, when James Franco was talking up his plans to adapt two American literary classics – William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian – for the big screen? Well, that’s pretty much all it has amounted to at this point: talk.

Franco hasn’t abandoned his plans of adapting Blood Meridian completely, but he says the project has been put hold – and now, he’s moving forward with another McCarthy adaptation, Child of God.

“Child of God” is the third book written by McCarthy, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his post-apocalyptic novel, The Road. He’s better known to the moviegoing masses as the author of “No Country for Old Men,” which was eventually adapted into a Best Picture-winning film by the Coen Brothers.

Here’s the direct quote from Franco (via We Got This Covered) concerning his plans to direct an adaptation (or two) of McCarthy’s literature.

“We shot a 20 minute test of it ['Blood Meridian] that turned out pretty well… we were gearing up to do the feature but that for various reasons is on hold, but we are going to make a movie based on [Cormac McCarthy’s] third book ‘Child Of God’.”

For those who are not familiar with McCarthy’s novel… well, the following synopsis/review (featured on Amazon) does a nice job of illustrating why this will be an insane a very difficult adaptation to pull off:

“Child of God” must be the most sympathetic portrayal of necrophilia in all of literature. The hero, Lester Ballard, is expelled from his human family and ends up living in underground caves, which he peoples with his trophies: giant stuffed animals won in carnival shooting galleries and the decomposing corpses of his victims.

127 Hours Review James Franco James Franco Planning To Adapt Cormac McCarthys Child of God

Can Franco conquer McCarthy’s ‘Child of God’?

Between his recent directorial effort Sal (which premiered at the 2011 Venice Film Festival) and plans to direct two documentaries – one about the adults-only website Kink.com, the other about the soap opera General Hospital – Franco is looking to really get his career as a director going full force. Tackling an intimidating prospect like Child of God could very much help Franco – or stop him dead in his tracks.

A highly experienced filmmaker would surely struggle to properly adapt the Child of God novel for the big screen – retaining both the macabre beauty and stark lyricism of the story, as originally told through McCarthy’s trademark prose. The idea that someone like Franco could effectively pull off the viciously violent tale that is Blood Meridian on the big screen was a big enough stretch; the thought of him managing Child of God sounds like (sorry to say) a ridiculous pipe dream, right now.

On the other hand – crazier things have happened and there is something kind of admirable (or pitiable – you choose) about Franco’s ambitious plans. Besides, if Terry Gilliam can get Tideland made, then Franco should be able to convince someone to finance a film adaptation of Child of God, right?

We’ll keep you posted on the status of Child of God as the story develops (or when Franco next talks about it).

Source: We Got This Covered (via /Film)

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  1. Can anybody tell what he poster is behind Franco in the photo?
    It looks like somebody is wearing a naval uniform .

    • It’s a poster for Annapolis.

  2. Ah.
    Thought it might be something new.
    Thanks Sandy.
    Not too interested in Franco directorial plans at this point.
    Not my kind of movies.

  3. Read the book and it will not be easy to adapt. Even if it is decent the material pretty much ensures it will not be a box office hit since it is not a pleasant story. They would be well-served to keep it small budget and not try to cast the face of the week to sell tickets.

  4. I loved the Road.

  5. My brother just auditioned for this movie. Hope it goes well.

  6. I think Cormac Mcarthy is easily the top writer of our time. His stories do run on the dark, violent and unsettling side but I guess some people have a hard time seperating the myth from the message. I never thought his work would translate well to “mass media” but the Cohen brothers nailed it in “No Country for Old Men” “the Road” was never intended to be a “feel good” book or movie on the surface but personally I derive a inner solace from these stories that encourage us to value the simple things we have versus the dreams we chase. Try “Blood Meridian” if you liked “No Country….” which is a longer more in depth story.

  7. Franco is literally doing what I had planned on doing one day. Adapting ‘Child of God’ to a film was definitely something I wanted to do. Damn you Franco and all you stand for hahaha. On a serious note I look forward to seeing what he does with it

  8. cant belive sh*thead like franco making failmovie of my favorite author