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.

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James Franco

James Franco certainly couldn’t be faulted for lacking in ambition. His most recent directorial effort was an adaptation of William Faulkner‘s As I Lay Dying, a revered American classic with an experimental structure that doesn’t easily lend itself to cinematic translation.

Now, for his next move, he plans to double down on the Faulkner by directing a film based on another of his works, The Sound and the Fury. Franco will star once again, and he hopes to get Jon Hamm, Danny McBride, and little brother Dave Franco to join him. Get the details after the jump.

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I’ll say this for James Franco‘s new outing as a director, and his highest-profile directorial gig to date: it takes some balls to tackle William Faulkner. The source material here is Faulkner’s seventh novel As I Lay Dying, which charts a family’s attempt to transport the body of its late matriarch to her preferred burial place, miles away. To grossly reduce things to a simple statement, the journey does not go well.

The film will premiere shortly at Cannes, and this trailer showcases the use of some of Faulkner’s original text in the script for the film. We get some idea of how Franco and the rest of the cast do with the material, but it’s too early to tell if the movie works. The novel is narrated by over a dozen characters, but we also don’t know how Franco, who also scripted, has dealt with the presentation of the story.

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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.

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Did you think the dialogue in Deadwood was too dense, perhaps even impenetrable? Then close this browser and run away, fast. For everyone else, especially those who loved the conversations that were the heart of Deadwood, get ready: series creator David Milch is turning his eye to the works of William Faulkner.

Granted, Faulkner’s dialogue, in novels like As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury, isn’t always as dense as his descriptive prose. (And sometimes, as in the stream of consciousness segments of The Sound and the Fury, or the points where the dialogue is the descriptive prose, it is the sort of thing that could challenge even Milch. ) Still, there is something very exciting about the idea of one of our most compellingly bookish TV producers working with stories from one of America’s signature authors. The two seem very well-suited for one another. Read More »

Yesterday a lot of people were surprised when word came out that James Franco is actively pursuing two very lofty directorial ambitions — he wants to write and direct film versions of William Faulkner‘s landmark novel As I Lay Dying, and Cormac McCarthy‘s Blood Meridian.

There was some initial skepticism about half of that report, as producer Scott Rudin wrote to IndieWire to suggest that the Blood Meridian news was either premature or incorrect. But now James Franco has done a little interview explaining his approach to both novels. And how does Jacob from Lost fit into all this? Answer after the break. Read More »

You can’t say that James Franco isn’t ambitious. He has recently optioned a set of memoirs as possible writing and directing projects, and seems to be taking acting gigs at a rapid pace, all while studying at Yale.

Now there’s a report saying we can add two other possible directorial projects to the pile, and neither of them is exactly small-time stuff. It claims Franco is working on two different deals to write and direct adaptations of difficult literary properties: William Faulkner‘s As I Lay Dying, and Cormac McCarthy‘s Blood Meridian. Read More »

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