The Los Angeles Times is that latest outlet to have a feature article on The Road, the feature film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s post apocalyptic novel and before I get to that I would like to address a paragraph within the article that still has me a bit baffled:
When last we heard about a possible “Blood Meridian” adaptation it was Ridley Scott telling Eclipse Magazine, “We got it down as a screenplay and the problem is that it is so savage.” Savage is an understatement.
I just finished reading “Blood Meridian” a week ago and there is no chance this book can be brought to the big screen and possibly keep its tone, not in the slightest. In simple terms, the story is set in the early west as a group of men set out on a mission to collect Indian scalps for a profit. Sure, we have seen a bit of scalping on screen (Michael Mann’s Last of the Mohicans comes to mind), but nothing like what is told in “Blood Meridian”.
How about a couple of select passages:
After purchasing some dogs from a young dogvender…
Another line reads, “The way narrowed through rocks and by and by they came to a bush that was hung with dead babies.”
Those are actually very tame examples, but the violence of the story is only a means to an end. I won’t ruin the revelation for those of you that choose to read it, but it is truly an amazing story and it is based on historical events of the 1850s. The violence, in all its brutality, is necessary and it is the reason Scott says the savage nature of the screenplay is the problem. It’s a problem because it can’t be removed and still maintain the integrity of the story.
To my knowledge this is the first time Todd Field has been mentioned in conjunction with the adaptation and it is also the first time I have heard of Andrew Dominik being interested in bringing “Cities of the Plain” to the bigscreen. I am currently taking a break from serious novels and finishing up Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series with the insanely long seventh book, but I have McCarthy’s “All the Pretty Horses” laying in wait.
“All the Pretty Horses” is the first book in McCarthy’s Border Trilogy, which is capped off with “Cities of the Plain”. The big reason to be interested in this project is due to Dominik’s involvement. For those that don’t remember, Dominik wrote and directed The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford last year and even though I have not yet read “Cities of the Plain”, Dominik’s style makes the idea of him adapting a McCarthy story for the screen is far too interesting to ignore.
As for the rest of the “LA Times” article involving The Road, the most interesting piece is where it talks about the film’s departure from the book.
The rest of the piece gives more information, but I only skimmed it not wanting to ruin the experience entirely. Sure, I have read the book,