James Franco will not stop and there’s nothing you can do about it. With his first Faulkner adaptation, As I Lay Dying, standing somewhere between good and terrible, according to the response at Cannes, one might have expected him to stop there. But not James Franco. The actor/artist/director/scholar/writer/astronaut has decided that he’s going to do another Faulkner adaptation of an even more difficult novel: The Sound And The Fury.
Franco recently revealed that he will direct, and star in, an adaptation of Faulkner’s largely stream-of-consciousness saga about yet another dysfunctional Southern family. He wants to cast Jon Hamm as the patriarch Mr. Compson, his own brother Dave Franco as Quentin and Danny McBride (again) in some capacity. The only other two white male roles are Jason, a violent racist, and Benjy, the mentally disabled youngest. Presumably Franco will be playing one of those parts. He will be working once more with his As I Lay Dying co-writer Matt Rager, so take that as you’d like.
We should give points to James Franco for trying to cinematically adapt novels that appear to be un-adaptable. How he will deal with The Sound And The Fury’s disjointed modern narrative is anyone’s guess. He did figure something out with As I Lay Dying though. Perhaps he’ll be able to do something similar with The Sound And The Fury.
Franco also gets some points for not resting on his less than stellar big budget choices, like Oz: The Great And Powerful. He’s taking that money and at least trying to do some interesting things with it. That he seems to think he’s Orson Welles and F. Scott Fitzgerald rolled into one doesn’t diminish the attempt.
The Sound And The Fury is likely to start shooting soon.
James Franco never can seem to sit still for long. I wonder when he sleeps.