ENTERTAINMENT
05/14/2013 09:23 am ET | Updated May 14, 2013

'As I Lay Dying' Trailer: James Franco's Update Of William Faulkner Classic Will Bow At Cannes

There's no rest for James Franco, who continues to add on to his busy year with the newly released trailer for his adaptation of William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying."

Franco wrote, directed and stars in the update on the novel, which had yet to receive a film version prior to the 35-year-old Oscar nominee's efforts. The trailer offers a stylistic blend of Terrence Malick's idyllic nature imagery, furtive camerawork and contemplative narration, along with the Coen Brothers' gritty Southern-gothic tone.

Often considered one of the greatest American novels, Faulker's 1930 book tells the story of Addie Bundren's death and her impoverished family's subsequent quest to bury her in Jefferson, Miss., according to her wishes. Franco portrays Darl Bundren, the second-oldest child, while Tim Blake Nelson plays the patriarch Anse. The film also stars Danny McBride as Vernon Tull, a friend of the family, and Ahna O'Reilly ("The Help," "Fruitvale Station") as only-daughter Dewey Dell.

"Dying" will bow at this week's Cannes Film Festival, competing for the Un Certain Regard award, which seeks to honor innovative movies with a grant worth 30,000 euros. Since the Prize Un Certain Regard began in 1998, only one American film, 2008's "Tyson," has nabbed the honor. Sundance favorite "Fruitvale Station" and the highly anticipated Sofia Coppola movie "The Bling Ring" will also compete under the Un Certain Regard umbrella.

The Faulkner iteration marks Franco's second film of 2013 as both director and star. His "Interior. Leather Bar." premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Franco also recently wrapped production on "Child of God," an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel that features Franco both behind and in front of the camera. He starred in "Oz the Great and Powerful" and "Spring Breakers" in March, and will portray Hugh Hefner in the upcoming Linda Lovelace biopic "Lovelace," slated for a June release and co-starring Amanda Seyfried in the title role.

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