Russell Crowe in Talks to Star in James Franco-Directed ‘Blood Meridian’

UPDATE: Sources close to the project tell Variety the deal has now fallen a part over rights to the book.

Russell Crowe is in talks to star in an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian” with James Franco writing and directing.

Franco will also act in the film with Tye Sheridan and Vincent D’Onofrio also coming on board.

Scott Rudin, Cassian Elwes and Franco’s producing partner Vince Jolivette is producing. The film will be brought to Cannes with IM Global handling international rights and CAA handling domestic.

In McCarthy’s book, the story is based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s and traces the journey of the Kid, a 14-year-old Tennessean who stumbles into a nightmarish world when he joins a ruthless gang of scalphunters that includes the mysterious and menacing Judge Holden.

The news comes only a day after it was announced that Crowe was in early talks to play a Dr. Jekyll-type role in Universal’s “The Mummy” reboot starring Tom Cruise. Though the role in “The Mummy” is expected to be small, the idea is for the film to launch a possible standalone franchise for Crowe if a deal closes.

Crowe is repped by WME. Franco is repped by CAA.

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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