Outside of the established and expanding franchises for book series like Harry Potter and Twilight, there don't seem to be a whole lot of literary works that audiences are just dying to see adapted – except perhaps for The Road. Remarkably, Cormac McCarthy's remarkable 2006 story of a father and son making their way across a post-apocalyptic landscape has been successfully adapted for the screen by director John Hillcoat, who eschewed 2012-style spectacle in favor of a more harrowing and humanistic portrait of two people surviving in the harshest possible environment.

Cinematical recently spoke to Hillcoat at the film's Los Angeles press day, where he was wrapping up a long afternoon of roundtables and one-on-one interviews. Thankfully, he rallied for one more short conversation about The Road, and in addition to talking about the challenges of bringing McCarthy's words to life, he spoke about conceiving the scope of the film, and finding the right faces to fill its damaged landscape.

Cinematical: You obviously began with extremely rich source material when starting to adapt The Road. What was the thing you knew you had to get right and then everything else would sort of fall into place?