James Franco, the Jack-of-all-trades, master of most, has added yet another job to his extensive resume as he takes on a big screen adaptation of William Faulkner’s 1929 stream-of-consciousness novel, The Sound and the Fury. Franco is set to star in and direct the film which is said to start shooting in the fall. He also wrote the script for the film with his Yale classmate Matt Rager. The two also co-wrote the adaptation of another Faulkner classic, As I Lay Dying, which Franco of course starred in and premiered to solid reviews at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Sound and the Fury, set in the heart of Mississippi, centers around the Compson family, a group of former Southern aristocrats who fall on hard times, as they have to deal with the dissolution of their family and its reputation. Franco’s role in the film is undisclosed at the moment but he has recruited some of his celebrity pals to accompany him in the film including Mad Men’s Jon Hamm as the patriarch of the family, and Franco’s younger brother Dave as the suicidal Quentin Compson. None of the actors have been “officially” and Franco does have to iron out some scheduling issues, but appears confident that they will be able to work on the project. Danny McBride, Franco’s comedic adversary in This is the End, is also rumored to have a part in the film. A rumor possibly confirmed when Franco acknowledged the fact that they would be working together soon telling The Los Angeles Times: “For us it’s Faulkner, ‘This Is The End’ and then Faulkner again.”
The movie, which is funded independently, is seemingly off to a good start as Franco told The Los Angeles Times: “We’re in pretty good shape, but there are a few more things that have to happen before we’re good.” The Sound and the Fury previously hit the silver screen in 1959 with the Martin Ritt directed version. However, being a fan of the creative and artistic antics of James Franco, I am much more excited to see his adaptation of the film!
Many people may scoff at Franco’s quirky taste, or laugh as he ventures into a foray of creative outlets, but I believe that there is a little that he can’t or won’t do. Some may call him genius while others may call him a madman, but I think Aristotle said it best when he said: “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”