First published in April 1985, Cormac McCarthy‘s historical western novel Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West has long been considered too dark and violent for a film adaptation to do the relentlessly horrific narrative justice. Directors like Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) and Todd Field (Little Children), who have never been strangers to making thematically challenging films, have tackled developing a Blood Meridian feature into a reality, but their efforts always ended in complete surrender. A tale of the dark days of the Old West whose violence and tone made The Wild Bunch look like an episode of Bonanza was never going to be an easy sell as a big-budget motion picture, regardless of what important names were attached.
The latest name to take a crack at filming the un-filmable is actor and director James Franco. Having already ventured into the world of cinematic adaptations of literary classics with film versions of McCarthy’s Child of God and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying on his resume, Franco has long desired to be the one to bring Blood Meridian to the silver screen. A few years ago he even went as far as to shoot some test footage for his prospective adaptation, and managed to rope in some quality actors to help better visualize how Franco would approach a film based on the novel many consider to be Cormac McCarthy’s best.
To coincide with Child of God‘s upcoming U.S. theatrical release Franco has released the Blood Meridian test reel for all to gaze upon. You can watch the video here below.
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