Hillcoat On Adapting McCarthy’s “Meridian”

Four of author Cormac McCarthy’s novels have seen screen adaptations such as “No Country for Old Men” and “All the Pretty Horses,” but arguably his most famous work “Blood Meridian” has yet to make it to film.

The book follows a teenagers experience with a group of scalp hunters who massacred Native Americans and others in the United States-Mexico borderlands for bounty, pleasure, and eventually out of compulsion. It was infamous for its sheer brutality and has since gone on to be recognised as one of the greatest works of modern American literature.

Various directors have expressed interest in doing an adaptation including Ridley Scott, Michael Haneke, Todd Field and James Franco. One other name that has put up there hand is, like Franco, a helmer who has tackled McCarthy onscreen before – in this case Aussie filmmaker John Hillcoat who adapted McCarthy’s “The Road”.

Hillcoat has familiarity with the subject matter, he made his name on the violent Aussie western “The Proposition”. Out doing press rounds for his cop thriller “Triple 9,” Hillcoat revealed to The Q&A Podcast that he’s dying to make “Blood Meridian” into a film and even got so far as to receive McCarthy’s blessing and assistance if he required it. So what’s stopping him? The producer who owns the rights:

“The one that I’ve always wanted – and I have Scott Rudin in my way blocking it – is ‘Blood Meridian,’ which Cormac McCarthy has offered to adapt into a screenplay. We both discussed it and feel like we’ve cracked how to make it into a film, so if anyone knows how to move Scott Rudin… We even had money to finance it, but [Rudin] clearly has other ideas.”

In a separate interview for TechCrunch, Hillcoat says that making morally complex films is becoming harder and harder these days: “Film has lost its nerve and given that audience over television, and instead, film is more focused on franchise and spectacle.” As a result, he indicates he’s looking at potential TV projects coming up.