‘As I Lay Dying’ Trailer: Finally High Schoolers Can Watch a Faulkner Classic Directed By James Franco

As I Lay Dying

If The Great Gatsby didn’t already convince you that perhaps it’s time we all revisited our high school reading lists, now James Franco has gone ahead and adapted a William Faulkner classic for the big screen, one that’s about twenty times more inscrutable than Baz Luhrmann’s all-singing, all-dancing Gatsby spectacle.

Don’t remember “As I Lay Dying”? Ha, good luck watching Franco’s As I Lay Dying and figuring out a damn thing about it, if this first trailer is to be believed. Franco directed the film (of course), and he also stars in it alongside a uniformly great cast, including Tim Blake Nelson, Logan Marshall-Green, and Danny McBride. Beyond that, we’re totally at a loss here, as the film’s first trailer is a combination of pretension, unintelligible accents, complicated violence, and even a rape. Faulkner’s novel used no less than fifteen different characters to tell a relatively simple story – a family attempts to honor their dying matriarch’s request to be buried in a nearby town – and it’s hard to imagine that such a powerful novel will translate well to the screen, especially when its first trailer looks so terrible, but hey, now high school teachers can have a movie to put on that might actually interest the teens. (Teens like James Franco, right?)

Brush up on your teen literary endeavors and check out the first trailer for As I Lay Dying after the break.

As I Lay Dying will premiere later this month at the Cannes Film Festival. [Yahoo! Movies]

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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