The trailer for As I Lay Dying looks promising, if anything.
Besides the obvious fact that there’s money in making literary adaptations, James Franco’s take on Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying is obviously motivated by something else as well. The recently released trailer for the film, which will be featured in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, definitely doesn’t present it in a blockbuster light.
Instead, the main point of the trailer seems to be to show us that yes, James Franco read the book, he understood it and now he’s going to prove to everyone what a good director he can be. Which is as admirable a goal as any, to be sure, but whether it will make for a good movie is another matter entirely.
Of course, critics are weary of adaptations of great American classics right now, with The Great Gatsby controversy still fresh in everyone’s mind (that controversy being that some people liked it and some people didn’t, despite the very promising trailer). So, who knows? After the success of Spring Breakers, this may in fact turn out to be Franco’s year and As I Lay Dying, his breakout directorial gig. Or it may be a complete flop. In any case, it won’t affect Faulkner or his novel in the slightest, so everyone might as well stop getting so hung up about it and give the film a chance. From the trailer alone it does look very promising.