After having skillfully penned The Road, a film that inspired Eugene Novikov to write: "John Hillcoat's faithful, near-perfect adaptation beautifully captures McCarthy's synthesis of all-encompassing darkness and enduring hope," scribe Joe Penhall is heading for an entirely different world of grit, drama, and danger. The Hollywood Reporter posts that the writer will adapt John Williams' 1960 novel Butcher's Crossing for Focus Features. If all works out, Sam Mendes will direct.

Instead of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Butcher's Crossing is set in the 1870s and follows a man who drops out of Harvard to find "an original relation to nature" in the west. He ends up in the small Kansas town of Butcher's Crossing, and joins a hunt for a buffalo herd. But it's a little more than just a man escaping life and hunting the big buffalo. The quest leads him to madness before heading back to the Crossing where the world has changed just as much as he and his party have.

My only reservation is Mendes, and wondering how the director would handle a world of rough, historical madness. We know Hillcoat can do it -- he's hit the theme out of the park with both Proposition and The Road. So what do you think? Can Mendes whip up a suitable take at madness in the 19th century west?
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical