James Franco Lines Up Danny McBride, Tim Blake Nelson, Ahna O’Reilly and More for Directorial Debut ‘As I Lay Dying’
Posted on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 by Angie Han
With his Cormac McCarthy adaptation Child of God in post-production, multi-hyphenate James Franco is prepping another literary classic for his next feature. Two winters ago, he was trying to get the William Faulkner estate on board for a movie version of As I Lay Dying. It seems he was successful, as the film’s now begun casting for a fall start. As of this week, Danny McBride, Tim Blake Nelson, Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Jim Parrack (True Blood), and Ahna O’Reilly (The Help) are all lined up to star alongside Franco himself. More details after the jump.
Showbiz 411 (via Cinema Blend) reports that the pieces are in place for Franco to begin shooting in Mississippi this October. Whereas his earlier indie efforts have mostly flown under the radar, this one’s being backed by Avi Lerner‘s Millennium Films. The company’s other recent features include The Paperboy, The Expendables 2, and Playing for Keeps.
Faulkner’s book employs over a dozen different narrators to recount the death and burial of Abbie Bundren, the matriarch of a lower-class Southern family.The novel’s structure has given it the reputation of being tough to translate to other media. Thankfully, Franco seems very aware of the big differences between the page and the screen.
“You want to capture the tone, but you can’t work in exactly the same way,” he said last year. “Movies, in some ways because they deal in images, are more concrete. I want to be loyal to the book — my approach is to always be loyal in a lot a ways — but in order to be loyal I will have to change some things for the movie. ”
It’s not clear which actors will play which characters, but Franco’s part is said to be a small one. Franco’s worked with all of these stars before. Parrack has appeared in Franco’s movies Child of God and Sal, and co-starred with Franco in Annapolis. Nelson also starred in Franco’s Child of God as well as the upcoming NYU project Black Dog Red Dog – which also featured Marshall-Green and Franco. O’Reilly, a former girlfriend of Franco’s, had a small part in his Good Time Max. And McBride, of course, has co-starred with Franco in the David Gordon Green comedies Pineapple Express and Your Highness.
Naturally, As I Lay Dying is just one of oh, about a million other things Franco has simmering. He just directed himself in a commercial for the Samsung Galaxy Note and, on the other end of the spectrum, has been working on an art film inspired by William Friedkin’s Cruising. He’s rumored to be directing a fictionalized biopic of Lindsay Lohan, or something like that. And in front of the camera, he has About Cherry, Spring Breakers, The Letter, Lovelace, The Iceman, Oz: The Great and Powerful, and The End of the World all due out before the end of next year.