Blood Meridian: According to The Hollywood Reporter, William Monahan is in negotiations to adapt Scott Rudin's long-gestating feature film of Cormac McCarthy's acclaimed novel "Blood Meridian," which is now set up at Paramount Pictures.

Although no offer has been made, Ridley Scott has been approached to direct. Scott and Monahan are currently writing and directing two projects together -- "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Tripoli," which are both set up at 20th Century Fox. In the last incarnation of "Blood Meridian" in the late 1990s, Tommy Lee Jones was set to direct and rewrite Steve Tesich's adaptation and take a small role in McCarthy's dark Western.

The film was set up then with Rudin at Columbia Pictures. Columbia also snapped up the rights to McCarthy's "Border" trilogy, the first of which ("All the Pretty Horses") was adapted for the big screen by Columbia and Miramax.

Published before the trilogy in 1985, "Blood Meridian," declared by some critics as one of the great novels of the 20th century, takes place on the Texas/Mexico border and looks at the uncompromising depiction of a crucial junction in American history. Set in the 1840s, the story centers on a young boy who gets in with a gang of outlaws employed by the territorial governors to clear Indians from the Mexican border area.

Other Monahan credits include Martin Scorsese's "Infernal Affairs" at Warner Bros. Pictures and "Jurassic Park IV" at Universal Pictures. Monahan is repped by Endeavor. Scott is repped by WMA. Both agencies declined comment.

Brian B.