James Franco in The Sound and the Fury

If the only thing you knew about The Sound and the Fury was its cast list, you might assume it was a comedy. After all, the last time James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Danny McBride were seen onscreen together, they were trading dick jokes while navigating the apocalypse; the time before that, they were ducking drug lords while stoned out of their minds.

But no — The Sound and the Fury is a deadly serious adaptation of the classic novel by William Faulkner, which Franco himself directed. Needless to say, it shines quite a different light on the normally hilarious trio. Hit the jump for your first look at the Sound and the Fury movie images.

In advance of its Venice Film Festival debut, The Sound and the Fury has dropped a few intriguing images (via The Playlist).

While Rogen and McBride don’t have major roles in the movie, it’s interesting to see them with old-timey clothing and serious-movie faces. All three have done dramatic work before, but whereas Franco has jumped back and forth between comedy and drama, Rogen and McBride remain better known for their funny stuff.

Scripted by Franco and Matt Rager (who also worked on Franco’s other Faulkner adaptation, As I Lay Dying), The Sound and the Fury chronicles the tragic decline of the aristocratic Compson family across three decades in early 20th-century Mississippi.

Franco plays Benjy, a young man whose cognitive disabilities are a source of great shame for his family. Jacob Loeb, Ahna O’Reilly, and Scott Haze play his older siblings, and Tim Blake Nelson their father. Joey King and Loretta Devine also star.

Oh, and if you prefer Franco, Rogen, and McBride in goofy mode, never fear. Franco and Rogen are also set to re-team for the North Korea-set comedy The Interview this Christmas, and all three will be heard in the animated comedy Sausage Party in 2016.

Directed by and starring Academy Award nominee James Franco, The Sound and The Fury captures the lives and passions of the Compsons, a once proud Southern family caught in a tragic spiral of loss and misfortune. Based on the novel by Noble Prize winner author William Faulkner and considered among the 20th century’s greatest works, The Sound and the Fury encapsulates the universal theme of the death of honor, social injustice and forbidden love.

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