I went ahead and circled the Wall*E cameo for you guys.

There have been a few teases along the way, but today we get to see the first true look at the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Oprah-approved book The Road. There’s no trailer yet unfortunately, but USA Today has gotten their newsprint-smeared paws on six nifty new images from the flick. Click here to feast your beastly eyes on ’em. If you are familiar with the novel, these pictures should come as no great surprise – the landscape on display looks bleak…with a capital EEK! Set in a dying United States (although, I don’t think McCarthy ever specifies) after some unknown event wiped out most of the population, a man must protect his young son while traveling towards a place that will hopefully offer the two some sort of refuge. Since food is scarce, the exhausted duo must avoid being caught, cooked, and served over a shrinking supply of rice by roving bands of desperate and despicable cannibals. It’s a shit situation, for sure.

Director John Hillcoat, a man who surely has dirt permanently caked under his fingernails (he also made the dingy The Proposition) has gathered up quite a cast for this. Viggo Mortensen plays the ailing but highly focused father, and newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee-Hanrahan-McGillicutty plays his doe-eyed son. Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce (who was rumored to be the lead for a little bit), and The Wire‘s excellent Michael K. Williams also do some post-apocalyptic acting. I hope Williams has more screentime in this than the three seconds he enjoyed in this summer’s The Incredible Hulk. Garret Dillahunt, who also popped up in last year’s McCarthy adaptation, plays one of the hungry, dungareed cannibals. And that’s the performance I’m most looking forward to. The guy has been excellent in everything I’ve seen him in – Deadwood, No Country for Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He’s so good that I almost put The 4400 in my Netflix queue. Yes, he’s THAT good.

The movie is set to debut at the Toronto Film Festival next month, and it will be haunting multiplexes by the end of November. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out. McCarthy is an incredible writer, and the beauty in his work is really tied to his use of words. The Coen Brothers benefited from this because they were able to lift a lot of McCarthy’s poetic dialogue wholesale. The Road barely has any dialogue. And if the filmmakers stayed true to the book (and hopefully they did), it’ll be an almost silent film with bursts of chaos. I just imagine that this novel will be harder to transfer to screen than No Country. But those pictures are certainly promising. Here’s to hoping.