James Franco is reportedly developing three film adaptations of gritty Southern Gothic novels by crime fiction writer Tom Franklin. Franco and partner Vince Jolivette have scored the film rights to the novels, will produce through their Bandini Productions label, and have set screenwriters for each project.
Playwright David Van Asselt will adapted “Poachers,” the Edgar Award winning short story about three wild boys confronting a mythic game warden as mysterious and deadly as the river they haunt.
Franklin himself will adapt “Smonk” which is set in 1911 Alabama where a man named E.O. Smonk has been destroying property, killing livestock, seducing women, and beating men every Saturday night for a year.
Finally, Ian Olds and Paul Felton are penning the adaptation of “Hell at the Breech” which is set in 1897 Alabama and follows an aspiring politician mysteriously murdered and the subsequent formation of a secret society of cotton farmers who set out to punish the townspeople they believe responsible.
Jolivette tells Variety: “We plan on shooting all three of them in the next one to three years. There are no plans at this point for James to act or direct, just for us to produce. We feel the material is rich enough to attract A-level talent.”