Pulp Fiction screenwriter adapting Faulkner novel

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Troubled screenwriter Roger Avary, who co-wrote Pulp Fiction with Quentin Tarantino and recently served a year in jail for a drunk-driving accident, is now adapting William Faulkner's Sanctuary — appropriately, one of the visionary novelist's pulpiest novels. Concerning the rape of a Southern belle, it was Faulkner's first commercially successful novel; it's also pretty damn pulpy, but Faulkner being Faulkner, it's a lot better than a pulp novel about the rape of a Southern belle really needs to be.

As the AV Club notes, Sanctuary was adapted in 1933 as The Story of Temple Drake, a film so scandalous that it let to the institution of the Hays Code, a censorship standard that reigned in Hollywood until 1968. (Check out this poster. It does look pretty scandalous.)

Adding resonance to Faulkner's lurid tale of crime, Avary's version will be produced by Cops creator John Langley (pictured above… no, that's Faulkner). It's tempting to be snarky here, but the people who brought you Pulp Fiction and Cops are pretty much the exact right creative minds to be tackling Sanctuary, if somebody has to. Meanwhile, James Franco is set to direct a film version of As I Lay Dying, a much better Faulkner novel that I suspect will be much harder to adapt well. That's the one Faulkner nerds should probably be worried about.