I am not sure how I missed this and why it seems everybody else did too, but apparently Ridley Scott is no longer directing an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s brutal western Blood Meridian. I knew production was at a standstill on it and that Scott was having a hard time with the screenplay, but according to an article Rope of Silicon ran on August 19th (as well as its IMDb page), Todd Field (Little Children, In the Bedroom) is now helming the project.
“No Country’s” Academy Award-winning producer Scott Rudin and “Little Children” filmmaker Todd Field have been developing a “Blood Meridian” movie, and Australian filmmaker Andrew Dominik wants to film “Cities of the Plain,” the last book in McCarthy’s border trilogy. Said Field in explaining McCarthy’s appeal: “His work examines our core, the two faces of violence that co-exist in every savage act – brutal strength of purpose holding hands with a desperate and cowering weakness.”
This news seemingly came out of nowhere and surprisingly not too many people have noticed, which is odd since Cormac McCarthy is the hottest thing in both modern literature and filmmaking right now, with last year’s No Country for Old Men and this year’s upcoming and high anticipated The Road.
I am still not sure how I feel about bringing Blood Meridian to the screen at all. It just seems unfilmable, at least with keeping the tone and feeling of the novel intact, let alone some of the events themselves. I’m not sure how I feel with the transition from Scott to Field either, but I guess I wouldn’t know how to feel no matter who was directing. There are many other McCarthy works that I think would work better on the big screen, including the rest of the Border trilogy.
As for Dominik wanting to film Cities of the Plain (the final novel in the Border trilogy), I wrote about that in my McCarthyism article back in April, in which Dominik said he has “a big thing for McCarthy, and it’s a beautiful story” (which it is and I honestly cannot think of a single better man than Dominik for the job), but he refuses to cast big stars in any of the roles and the studio will not greenlight it without big stars attached. Maybe, just maybe if he agreed to have Casey Affleck (who he worked with on The Assassination of Jesse James) on board for the late-20s Billy Parham of the novel, that would be a big enough star for the studio? I want to see this made, but please agree to tackle its predecessor The Crossing too, Andrew!