A movie version of one of the most violent novels of all time is in the works 9 months ago

A movie version of one of the most violent novels of all time is in the works

There have already been several unsuccessful attempts to bring the novel to the screen.

Blood Meridian - the 1985 historical epic Western novel by Cormac McCarthy - could be getting a big-screen adaptation, according to reports.


Deadline states that production company New Regency is mounting a cinematic take on the book with Australian filmmaker John Hillcoat set to direct. Along with having made the movies The Proposition, Lawless and Triple 9, Hillcoat previously adapted another of McCarthy's novels - The Road - as a film in 2009 to strong reviews.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest American novels of all time, Blood Meridian is based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s. It follows a teenager from Tennessee dubbed 'The Kid' and his experiences with the Glanton gang, a group of scalp hunters who massacre Native Americans and others.

Meanwhile, the novel's antagonist is 'The Judge', a highly educated member of the Glanton gang who is described as huge, pale and hairless and often appears to be almost mythical or supernatural.

blood meridian

Blood Meridian author Cormac McCarthy with director John Hillcoat at the New York premiere of The Road

Renowned for its unflinching depiction of the violence that coincided with America's westward expansion, there have been numerous attempts to make a movie from Blood Meridian, including by Tommy Lee Jones, Ridley Scott and James Franco. That said, they did not succeed, with some dubbing the novel "unfilmable" due to its levels of brutality, as well as the potential difficulties of finding an actor to match McCarthy's description of The Judge.

That said, the author itself believes a cinematic version of the story is possible, telling the Wall Street Journal in 2009:

"The fact that it’s a bleak and bloody story has nothing to do with whether or not you can put it on the screen.

"That’s not the issue. The issue is it would be very difficult to do and would require someone with a bountiful imagination and a lot of balls. But the payoff could be extraordinary.”


If Hillcoat's film adaptation - which would be executive produced by McCarthy - comes to pass, it would be the fifth time one of the author's novels has been brought to the big screen, following All the Pretty Horses (2000), No Country for Old Men (2007), The Road (2009) and Child of God (2013).

No Country for Old Men was the most successful of these both commercially and critically and won four Oscars including Best Picture.

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