‘Blood Meridian’: John Hillcoat to Helm Upcoming Western Adaptation!!

There have been no shortage of Westerns lately, as the genre seems to have gotten a resurgence in recent years. Now, Deadline reports that New Regency is slated to adapt the Western Blood Meridian into a feature film. The project will be directed by John Hillcoat and based on the iconic book of the same name by Cormac McCarthy.

Significant details on the film remain slim, with no cast having been announced yet. However, McCarthy‘s novel, first published in 1985 as Blood Meridian or, the Evening Redness in the West, is set in the American west and follows a fictional Tennessee 14-year-old known as the Kid. Based on semi-historical events, the book tracks the Kid’s life as he gets intertwined into the westward American expansion of the mid-1850s, and stumbles onto a gang of rangers on the U.S.-Mexican border that kill and scalp Native Americans. The extremely violent book wasn’t initially received well. However, it has gone onto garner massive acclaim since its publication, and is often considered one of the greatest-ever novels by a U.S. author, with some dubbing it the perfect example of the Great American Novel.

While casting remains under wraps, Deadline reported that Hillcoat will also produce the film through New Regency, alongside Keith Redmon for the Black Bear Pictures banner. McCarthy will serve as an executive producer alongside his son John Francis McCarthy. This will be Hillcoat‘s second time directing an adaptation of a McCarthy novel, as he helmed the post-apocalyptic film The Road in 2009. While a distributor was not announced, New Regency‘s sales are all handled through 20th Century Studios since Disney‘s purchase of 21st Century Fox.

The Road to the Screen Has Been a Long One

While McCarthy‘s novels have often been adapted into award-winning films, such as the Academy Award-winning No Country for Old Men in 2007, Blood Meridian has languished in development hell for years. Attempts to put the film on screen first began in the 1990s, with Tommy Lee Jones acquiring the rights at one point in an adaptation that never moved forward. Attempts by Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese, Todd Field, and James Franco to direct adaptations of the film in the mid 2010s also fizzled out.

An adaptation of Blood Meridian has often been considered “unfilmable” simply due to the novel’s extreme and often gratutious violence, along with its ambitious and large scale. Collider‘s Matthew Mosely previously noted that Blood Meridian “is widely regarded as one of the most graphic novels ever written, featuring an unflinching depiction of the American Frontier that will turn away casual readers in a matter of pages…The violence is so all-encompassing that it becomes the story, preventing the easy fix of sanding down its brutal edges to keep things in the realm of financially viable.”

However, with news of New Regency‘s adaptation coming to light, this may be the greatest indication yet that a feature-length version of Blood Meridian may finally see the silver screen.


via Collider

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