From the Vault: 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy, Starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron

Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road  © Dimension Films
Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road © Dimension Films

When you've written as many novels as Cormac McCarthy, you're bound to start seeing some of your work adapted for the big screen. The trend started back in 2000, when Billy Bob Thornton took on All The Pretty Horses. Then, and perhaps more notably, in 2007, the Coen Brothers showed us their take on No Country for Old Men and took home four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

In 2009, John Hillcoat and Joe Penhall brought us "The Road," based on McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The story, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic America, begs the question: In the wake of an unexplained cataclysm, how will humanity survive, and what will humanity look like on the verge of extinction? For McCarthy, the answer is chilling. We watch as an unnamed father and son travel through a desecrated landscape with nothing but a pistol -- and each other -- to survive.

In this particular world of desolation and abandonment, the scariest element is the rest of humanity, a savage, blood-thirsty bunch. McCarthy characterizes the bad (cannibals) from the good (non-cannibals) and we only hope the innocent will find the right road to travel down. The film stars Viggo Mortensen as The Father and Kodi Smit-McPhee as The Son.

Looking forward, there is plenty of McCarthy on the horizon. James Franco's adaptation of Child of God is reportedly in post-production, and there's always reason to hold our breath for Blood Meridian. Names like James Franco, Scott Rudin, and Todd Field have all been, at one time or another, connected to the project, but more often than not, the consensus is the book is simply unfilmable.

Have you seen "The Road" yet? Tell us what you thought of it in the comment section below.

Cormac McCarthy's 2006 novel was adapted for the big screen by John Hillcoat and Joe Penhall. The film stars Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Guy Pearce, and Robert Duvall.



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