Get a First Look at James Franco’s ‘Child of God’

We all know the last time James Franco took a nap was during the 2011 Oscars, and in the time since, he has attempted to tackle just about every aspect of the arts world. So after premiering his documentary Interior. Leather Bar at Sundance this winter and the Faulkner adaptation As I Lay Dying at Cannes in May, we’ve now got a taste of his next feature that’s set to premiere at Venice and TIFF in the coming weeks. Franco’s Child of God, adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s third novel of the same title is:

Set in mountainous Sevier County, Tennessee in the 1960s, Child of God tells the story of Lester Ballard, a dispossessed, violent man whom the narrator describes as “a child of God much like yourself perhaps.” Ballard’s life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Deprived of both his parents and a home, and with few other ties, Ballard descends to the level of a cave dweller, falling deeper into crime and degradation.
The film stars himself (of course), alongside Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack, Scott Haze, and Jeremy Ambler. Take a look at the first teaser below.

Watch the First Trailer for James Franco’s ‘As I Lay Dying’

Last week, we shared our excitement for James Franco’s next grand undertaking, the cinematic adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Set to premiere at Cannes in just a few days, we now have a first look at the feature with a brief but powerful trailer. Starring Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Logan Marshall-Green, Danny McBride, Ahna O’Reilly, Beth Grant, and Jesse Heiman, the 1930-set southern drama will tell Faulkner’s classic story about a Mississippi family’s journey to bury their mother.

Speaking to the project, Franco has expressed his desire to stay loyal to the original text and the necessity of changing elements in the adpatation process in order to honor that—and it appears that his faithfulness has paid off. Although it’s hard to gage the scope of the entire film from the text-heavy trailer, it’s definitely an interesting film look at Franco’s largest directorial effort to date. 
See for yourself below and stay tuned for more on the film—we’re keeping a close eye on this one.


The Ten Most Anticipated Films of the Cannes Film Festival

With the Cannes Film Festival but days away, I find myself increasingly more saddened that I am currently not packing my bags for France. But be that as it may, the films showing this year leave much to be excited for in the coming year. From Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive follow-up Only God Forgives to Jim Jarmusch’s first feature in four years Only Lovers Left Alive, the films in competition are looking to be some of the most thrilling of 2013. Plus, we’ll finally get a taste of James Franco’s Wiliam Faulkner adaptation As I Lay Dying alongside Roman Polanski’s re-imaging of Venus in Furs, with many, many more. And although it’s already premiered in the states last week, Baz Luhrmann’s lavish variation on The Great Gatsby will be kicking off the festival on Wednesday night.

So here are our most anticipated films of the festival, which will hopefully make their way into theaters as soon as possible.


Inside Llewyn Davis, Joel and Ethan Coen

The life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles-some of them of his own making. Living at the mercy of both friends and strangers, scaring up what work he can find, Llewyn’s misadventures take him from the basket houses of the Village to an empty Chicago club – on an odyssey to audition for music mogul Bud Grossman-and back again.

Venus in Furs, Roman Polanski

Alone in a Paris theater after a long day of auditioning actresses for the lead role in his new play, writer-director Thomas complains on the phone about the poor caliber of talent he has seen. No actress has what it takes to play his lead female character-a woman who enters into an agreement with her male counterpart to dominate him as her slave. Thomas is about to leave the theater when actress Vanda bursts in, a whirlwind of erratic-and, it turns out, erotic-energy.
At first she seems to embody everything Thomas has been lamenting. She is pushy, foul-mouthed, desperate and ill-prepared-or so it seems. But when Thomas finally, reluctantly, agrees to let her try out for the part, he is stunned and captivated by her transformation. Not only is Vanda a perfect fit (even sharing the character’s name), but she apparently has researched the role exhaustively-down to buying props, reading source materials and learning every line by heart. The likeness proves to be much more than skin-deep. As the extended "audition" builds momentum, Thomas moves from attraction to obsession…

The Past, Asghar Farhadi

Following a four year separation, Ahmad returns to Paris from Tehran, upon his French wife Marie’s request, in order to finalize their divorce procedure. During his brief stay, Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie’s relationship with her daughter Lucie. Ahmad’s efforts to improve this relationship soon unveil a secret from their past.

Only God Forgives, Nicolas Winding Refn 

Julian, an American fugitive from justice, runs a boxing club in Bangkok as a front for his drug business. His mother, the head of a vast criminal organization, arrives from the US to collect the body of her favorite son, Billy. Julian’s brother has just been killed after having savagely murdered a young prostitute. Crazy with rage and thirsty for vengeance she demands the head of the murderers from Julian. But first, Julian must confront Chang, a mysterious retired policeman – and figurehead of a divine justice – who has resolved to scourge the corrupt underworld of brothels and fight clubs.

Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch

Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Can these wise but fragile outsiders continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them?

The Immigrant, James Gray

1921. In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulski and her sister Magda sail to New York from their native Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan while her sister is quarantined. Alone, with nowhere to turn and desperate to reunite with Magda, Ewa quickly falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. And then one day, she encounters Bruno’s cousin, the debonair magician Orlando. He sweeps Ewa off her feet and quickly becomes her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself.

As I Lay Dying, James Franco

Based on the acclaimed novel by William Faulkner, AS I LAY DYING follows a family through their turmoil-filled journey to bring their mother to her gravesite.

Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler

This is the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother, whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend, who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to T, their beautiful 4 year old daughter. He starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easy. He crosses paths with friends, family, and strangers, each exchange showing us that there is much more to Oscar than meets the eye. But it would be his final encounter of the day, with police officers at the Fruitvale BART station that would shake the Bay Area to its very core, and cause the entire nation to be witnesses to the story of Oscar Grant.

The Bastards, Claire Denis

Captain on a container-ship, Marco Silvestri is called urgently back to Paris. His sister, Sandra, is desperate… her husband has committed suicide, the family business has gone under, her daughter has gone adrift. Sandra accuses the powerful businessman, Edouard Laporte responsible. Marco moves into the building where Laporte’s mistress lives with his son. What Marco hadn’t foreseen are Sandra’s shameful, secret manœuvres… and his love for Raphaëlle which could ruin everything.

Nebraska, Alexander Payne

A poor old man living in Montana escapes repeatedly from his house to go to Nebraska to collect a sweepstakes prize he thinks he has won. Frustrated by his increasing dementia, his family debates putting him into a nursing home — until one of his two sons finally offers to take his father by car, even as he realizes the futility. En route the father is injured, and the two must rest a few days in the small decaying Nebraska town where the father was born and where, closely observed by the son, he re-encounters his past. (Don’t worry — it’s a comedy.) Shot in black and white across four American states, the film blends professional actors with non-actors and aspires to mirror the mood and rhythms of its exotic locations.

Get Another Look at James Franco’s ‘As I Lay Dying’ With a Set of New Stills

Last week, we finally received the first image from James Franco’s latest cinematic effort, his adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Set to debut at Cannes this month, the 1930-set Southern drama will star Franco 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. And with little with only a few weeks until the film’s highly-anticipated premiere, we now have a series of stills from the feature which highlight it’s cast and writer/director. 

Speaking about the project to EW, Franco claimed that As I Lay Dying was a book originally given to him by his father and that it "stayed with him" over the years. And as a massive undertaking for the for any director, he also went onto say that he, "wants 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.”
And with that in mind, check out the new photos from the film below and stay tuned as we keep a close watch on this one.

Get a First Look at James Franco’s ‘As I Lay Dying’

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 screenAnnounced 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.


James Franco Daily Update: Now Directing and Starring in James Ellroy’s ‘American Tabloid’

James Franco does not stop. And would we want him to? No. Yes, fresh off premiering his two films, Kink and Interior. Leather Bar. at Sundance, signing on to star in the Jay Sebring biopic Beautiful People, and writing poems for President Obama, the master of multi-tasking has found a new project to keep him from sleeping at night. As if his plan to adapt William Faulkner’s classic, As I Lay Dying wasn’t enough, Franco is now planning on directing and starring in a cinematic take on James Ellroy’s novel, American Tabloid. According to the man himself, "It’s not all put together yet. It’s still early." 

American Tabloid, which takes place between 1958 and 1963, tells the story of law enforcement officers Pete Bondurant, Kemper Boyd, and Ward Littell, who slowly get entangled with the CIA FBI, and the mafia, which winds up with their involvement in the JFK assassination. Written in 1995, there have been a number of other iterations of the works from Bruce Willis to Tom Hanks, but perhaps Franco is just the man to see the job through. These days it seems there’s nothing he won’t tackle and personally, I’m fully behind his ferocious pursuit to bite off all that he can chew.

Check out Franco talking about his upcoming projects and further word on American Tabloid.