Russell Crowe's 'Blood Meridian' Deal Falls Apart Over Book Rights Issue

Russell Crowe GETTY - H 2016
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The project is now being shelved because the filmmakers didn't have the rights to the novel.

The splashy Cannes package Blood Meridian has fallen apart.

Though Russell Crowe had been in talks to star in James Franco's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, all of the deals are off because the filmmakers didn't have the rights to the novel.

Scott Rudin, who produced another McCarthy adaptation in the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men, was on board to produce alongside Cassian Elwes and Vince Jolivette. Franco, Tye Sheridan and Vincent D’Onofrio were to have rounded out the cast.

IM Global was set to handle international sales at the upcoming Cannes market, with CAA repping domestic rights. But the project is now being shelved.

McCarthy’s period novel takes in the mid-19th century along the Texas-Mexico border and chronicles the journey of a teen who joins a ruthless gang of scalphunters that includes the mysterious and menacing Judge Holden.

The WME-repped Crowe will still be attending Cannes for the premiere of Warner Bros.' The Nice Guys. He also is in negotiations to join Tom Cruise in the Mummy reboot at Universal.

Franco is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.

May 5, 1:40 pm Updated to reflect that Crowe's deal has fallen apart.