I may never be able to fathom how James Franco has the time and capability to take on every creative endeavor he does, but hey, I’m not complaining. And as one of his larger challenges over the past few years, the multi, multi-hyphenate has taken on William Faulkner’s classic novel As I Lay Dying, adapting it for the screen. Announced last week, the film will be premiering at Cannes in a little over two weeks—so just in time, we now have a first look at the dark southern feature courtesy of EW.
Adapted from the 1930 novel, Franco will star alongside Jim Parrack, Danny McBride, Logan Marshall-Green, Richard Jenkins, and Tim Blake Nelson in the story about a Mississippi family’s journey to bury their mother. Speaking with EW, Franco said, "As I Lay Dying was a book that my father gave me and I can remember spending a weekend reading late into Friday night and Saturday night, when all of my friends were out partying…It was a difficult book back then. I just tried to understand every line of it. It stayed with me.” And with 15 different narrators and 59 chapters, this wasn’t the easiest of adaptations for Franco to tackle, but going on about his version, said:
I don’t believe it’ll feel the same if you divide it as rigidly as the book, like titles that say ‘Cash’ and then you’re with Cash. You can slip into the characters’ heads and give them their inner voice for a while, but it has to be more fluid because movies just work differently than books. 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.”
Take a look at the new photo below and check back here for more on As I Lay Dying—we’ll be keeping close watch.