'As I Lay Dying' Trailer: Faulkner, Meet Franco

What do you get when you combine one of America's most esteemed authors ever with James Franco? If your mind goes straight to the words "lengthy lecture," we hear ya but that's not it ... well, actually, maybe it is.

The first trailer for James Franco's directorial interpretation of William Faulkner's prized book "As I Lay Dying" is in, and, as one might expect, it's full of southerners and sunsets. In the Cannes-bound film, Franco stars as Darl Bundren, the son of a woman whose entire family sets off to fulfill her dying wish to be buried in a county forty miles away.Faulkner's story is told from more than a dozen intertwining points of view and ranks among the most celebrated American novels of the entire 20th century. The challenge of scripting it was nothing the James Franco couldn't handle, naturally.

As for the trailer, there aren't a lot of surprises here; the point and presentation is pretty straightforward: like most familial dramas, there are some dirty little secrets at bay (let's just say the dearly departed mama bear got around), and as it happens with group trips, things don't exactly go to plan for the Bundren brood on their little journey.

Like it or not, Franco's making his bid here for a permanent seat in the director's chair, and the vying might indeed pay off with "Dying." Not only is it the exact right cut of awards-style movie meat, but it also appears he might just pull this thing off.