Blood Meridian: The Movie?

Revolover WoodcutAt first glance, it is somewhat surprising that a book like Blood Meridian, with so much critical acclaim, has yet to be made into a movie. After all, many of McCarthy’s other books have made the transition to the big screen. And these aren’t small film festival/art house productions. His credits include movies like The Road (starring Charlize Theron), No Country for Old Men directed by the Coen brothers (starring Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin), and All the Pretty Horses (directed by Billy Bob Thornton and starring Matt Damon and Penelope Cruz). Child of God is currently in post-production, scheduled for release in 2013. (Links go to the books, not the movies, sorry.)

But read Blood Meridian and you’ll understand how difficult it would be to translate this book into something movie-goers would want to see. First, with a few exceptions, westerns haven’t exactly been the genre of choice in Hollywood over the past thirty years. Add to that the unending violence—stuff that goes way beyond movies like Natural Born Killers or Kill Bill (both volumes). It would make a very depressing movie. And if it’s true to the book, the closest character to a protagonist, “the kid”, is likely to be killed (and possibly molested) at the end. Not exactly the kind of thing that sets ticket sales on fire.

If we were hiring a director for it, Quentin Tarantino would top the list.

That hasn’t stopped actor James Franco from at least toying with the idea. Last year he announced his intention to produce a film version of the book (along with an adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying). But as this report in The Independent opines, “neither project seems likely to win the hearts of studio financiers”. We’re not financiers, but we’re inclined to agree.

Don’t look for Blood Meridian in theaters any time soon.


Books Mentioned in this Post:

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
Natural Born Killers (Screenplay) by Quentin Tarantino
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Picture credit: John Mejias from the very cool Six Versions of Blood Meridian, an art project based on the book.

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