Carl Franklin at arrivals for HOUSE OF CARDS Season 2 Premiere, Director"s Guild of America, Los Angeles, CA February 13, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection
Carl Franklin at HOUSE OF CARDS season 2 premiere, DGA, LA, Feb. 13, 2014. Photo: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

He’s spent much of the last few years directing for episodic TV – shows like “Vinyl,” “The Leftovers,” “Bloodline,” “The Affair,” “House of Cards” and others; but announced today, Carl Franklin is making a move back to feature film directing with an adaptation of William Faulkner’s “Intruder in the Dust.”

The classic novel, originally published in 1948, is part mystery/part social commentary, and is set in the deep south, chronicling the life of an elderly black farmer – Lucas Beauchamp – who is arrested for the murder of a white man. Charles (“Chick”) Mallison, a 16-year-old white boy, who feels that he must repay a debt of honor to Beauchamp, searches for the real killer to save Beauchamp from being lynched.

Franklin has signed on to direct the adaptation for Our House Productions who have the rights from the Faulkner estate to produce the film adaptation.

Sales company The Exchange is repping the project for both domestic and foreign distributors.

It’s not said whether Franklin’s adaptation will be set in the present day, with the story updated/modified to reflect the times.

Juano Hernandez
Juano Hernandez

I should note that the novel has been previously adapted to film. In 1949, MGM produced an “Intruder in the Dust” motion picture that was directed by Clarence Brown. Juano Hernandez, whose 40-year career included over 30 credits, played Lucas Beauchamp. Some of his on-screen work included appearances in “Sergeant Rutledge” with Woody Strode, and “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” with Sidney Poitier, which was his last film. He died the same year it was released, in 1970.

The full 1949 film is online, and embedded below.

Franklin’s last feature film directorial effort was, coincidentally, also an adaptation of a novel titled “Bless Me, Ultima,” based on Rudolfo Anaya’s award-winning literary work of the same name, which chronicles the turbulent coming-of-age story of a young boy growing up in New Mexico during World War II. it was released in 2013.

Here’s the full 1949 feature film adaptation of the book, with Juano Hernandez as Beauchamp: