In a surprising bit of news, The Los Angeles Times reports that an unproduced script written by deceased novelist, screenwriter and Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning writer William Faulkner (1897-1962), who penned the celebrated works THE SOUND AND THE FURY, AS I LAY DYING, LIGHT IN AUGUST and ABSALOM! ABSALOM!, is slated to hit the big screen, and it’s…a vampire film?
According to journalist Jay A. Fernandez in a special to the Times, Lee Caplin, a representative of the William Faulkner Literary Estate and producer of 1989’s vampire opus TO DIE FOR and its 1991 sequel SON OF DARKNESS, among others, has unearthed Faulkner’s only unproduced, feature-length screenplay, which is a “vampire saga set in an anonymous Eastern European location.” Caplin, who has had access to the Mississippi scribe’s sketches, notes, letters and other literary works for years, was passed the manuscript by “Jill Faulkner Summers, the novelist's daughter, [who] found a manuscript seven years ago in the piles of material her father left behind.” In a questionable move, Caplin plans to move the action from the craggy European ruins to “the Deep South, and has a high-end computer-graphics firm on the hook to dress it up with modern effects.”
Given Faulkner’s filmic résumé and the decidedly noir hand on display in his classic screenplay adaptations of Ernest Hemingway’s TO HAVE OR HAVE NOT and Raymond Chandler’s THE BIG SLEEP (both filmed by legendary director Howard Hawks and starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall in two of their most memorable performances), it will be interesting to see Faulkner’s take on the vampire mythos. (We can only hope, however, that Caplin doesn’t wring too many more changes to the source material.)