Russell Crowe in Talks to Star as Judge Holden in James Franco's Adaptation of Blood Meridian

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James Franco wants us to think of him as a serious artist, and so he’s taking on a very serious book for his next film. Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian is a terrifying, violent parable set in a western hellscape, and it’s this novel that Franco will take to the big screen. News today indicates that Franco has someone very specific in mind for the role of the ruthless killer Judge Holden, and that someone is Russell Crowe.

There is no solid deal yet, but things are headed in that direction, per reports. If Crowe does sign on, he’ll join Franco, Tye Sheridan, and Vincent D’Onofrio in the cast. Scott Rudin will produce, as he did with the Coen Brothers’ adaptation of McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men. IM Global holds international sales rights, while domestic rights belong to CAA.