Currently I’m plowing through the 2005 Robert B. Parker novel which inspired the Ed Harris western due out September 17th. So far, I’m bowled over by how much this book reads like a classic western. When I settle down with this novel, I feel like I’m being transported to Monument Valley and reliving a John Ford film. I was astounded to find that this book was written just 3 years ago and not 50. It’s refreshing to see that it’s not just modern films that are reinventing the western (such as last year’s excellent 3:10 to Yuma), but novels as well.
I try not to let what I know about the film influence me while I read, but even without watching the trailer it’s sometimes hard to do. I picture Ed Harris while I read about the stoic Virgil Cole, while Everett, who tells the story, continually brings to mind Viggo Mortensen’s face. The only cast member I have yet to place is Jeremy Irons as the villain Bragg. For some reason, I can’t get the image of Lee Marvin out of my head, though I know that’s just from watching too many Ford westerns.
I’m excited to see Harris back behind the camera again, though the last film he helmed was not without its flaws. Pollock was superbly acted, but the story was inconsistent. Here Harris has great source material with a straight forward narrative and a very visual style. I can’t wait to see how he translates it to the screen.
For a full list of fall/early winter film adaptations, click here.