By Simon Dang | The Playlist August 21, 2012 at 9:02AM
For all his prolific work across a number of mediums, James Franco's ability to write and direct is, for the most part, still an unknown quantity. He's done a few shorts, and two documentaries, but his three feature films so far -- the comedy "The Ape," the Sal Mineo biopic "Sal," and Hart Crane tale "The Broken Tower" -- haven't exactly become big hits or critical favorites. However, his latest endeavor might change that.
Showbiz411 are reporting that Franco has casted up for his adaptation of William Faulkner's classic "As I Lay Dying," with his "Pineapple Express" and "Your Highness" co-star Danny McBride (in what would be his first dramatic role since "All The Real Girls"?), his ex-girlfriend Ahna O'Reilly, and "Prometheus" co-star Logan Marshall-Green all on board along side former Franco-collaborators Tim Blake Nelson and Jim Parrack, both of whom worked with him on "Child Of God."
No word yet on what roles each actor will take, but more details are on the horizon with Roger Friedman adding that there'll be "more names to be added shortly." We guess this leaves the door open for names like Michael Shannon, Paul Dano, Richard Jenkins and Joaquin Phoenix who were name-dropped by Franco as potential stars, but we certainly won't be holding our breath -- Dano recently told us that he had spoken with Franco about working together but wasn't specific about the Faulkner adaptation, while Shannon said he was anticipating Franco's call but conceded that there was a chance he'd be busy when it finally came through.
Franco, who is also taking up a supporting role in his film, is being backed here by Avi Lerner and his Millenium Films shingle. The project is eyeing an October shoot in Mississippi.