Saturday, January 16, 2010

If you think Anton Chigurh was a good villain then...

Prepare yourself for The Judge in another Cormac McCarthy adaptation. Slated for 2011 release is Blood meridian. Perhaps the most violent, brutal book I've ever read. Currently this is my most anticipated in-production project, and possibly my most anticipated period. Read the book ASAP. Many hold it as one of the greatest books of the 20th century.

McCarthy's stuff (NCFOM, The Road) is awesome, and Blood Meridian is by far his best book, and The Judge is by far his best character. Of course, much of what made Chigurh such an epic, awesome screen villain was Javier Bardem and the Coen bros.' execution of the villain. Whether we get similar genius execution w/ Blood Meridian remains to be seen.

Todd Field (In the Bedroom, Little Children) is slated to direct. I saw In The Bedroom when it came out, and remember not liking it much. And I haven't seen the more recent Little Children which got very positive critical reception. But I'm already somewhat worried about the final product. When the film first got greenlit it was Ridley Scott who was going to direct and when directors start changing, that often means heavy studio influence, which is never a good thing. Todd Field seems to be a talented young director, but the work he's done to date can't tell us much of how he will handle a blood-soaked epic like Blood Meridian. Not to mention the simple fact that this even being put into production in the first place is likely the result of studios riding the recent wave of McCarthy adaptation successes.

All that being said, the source material is brilliant, and it's highly filmic in nature. Particularly the character of The judge. Although 'the kid' is the main protagonist, this story belongs to The judge, and virtually everything revolves around him. Similar to the character of Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, The judge owns every scene that he is in, and seems to linger above even the events he isn't directly involved in. The character of the Judge is also similarly enigmatic, ruthless, and near-other-worldly. But where Chigurh seemed to be Death incarnate, The judge is more like War incarnate. And he's a little harder to figure out. He's more cerebral and has many more layers than the character of Chigurh, who was a great character (in both book and on screen), but rather 1-dimensional. If done right The judge has the potential to be the most iconic, indelible, brutal 'villain' to ever grace the big screen. I'm dying to hear who gets cast in the role.

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