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Ubiquitous James Franco Lines Up More Projects Than He Can Possibly Deliver

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 24, 2011 at 2:42AM

Riding the award season whirlwind is Oscar nominee and co-host James Franco. The perpetual student is all over the Oscars, Facebook, Twitter and Funny or Die, but going forward he can't be everywhere he'd like to be. We assemble a list below of an impossible number of projects to keep him busy for a lifetime.
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Thompson on Hollywood


Riding the award season whirlwind is Oscar nominee and co-host James Franco. The perpetual student is all over the Oscars, Facebook, Twitter and Funny or Die, but going forward he can't be everywhere he'd like to be. We assemble a list below of an impossible number of projects to keep him busy for a lifetime.

Having already played Allen Ginsberg (Howl), now, among the poetry student's numerous projects in production, development, or traveling the rumor circuit, is an adaptation of Ham on Rye, poet Charles Bukowski's semi-biographical novel, and The Broken Tower, about Hart Crane. So why not do an interview with The Poetry Foundation, where he discusses at length his relationship with poetry, particularly The Broken Tower? Here's a taste, and a picture of him on The Broken Tower set, taken by Jason Goodman.

Thompson on Hollywood


"Crane wanted his poetry to be difficult. He wanted it to be read in a different way than people normally read. So when I started developing the movie, I thought, yes, it will be a biopic of sorts, but I wanted to have the texture of his poetry. He wrote this essay “General Aims and Theories” about his work because he knew it was difficult, and he talked about how the meaning of the poems could be found in a way that the metaphors played off each other, like the tenor of the metaphors were all resting on this upper level, relating to each other. And that was the meaning of the poems, rather than the meaning you might get on the surface level…So I thought, okay, if there is some equivalent in cinematic language that I could achieve, that would be interesting because you’ll get some incidences from his life delivered through something that feels more like his poetry."

IN PRODUCTION [Movie (Role) - Status, Release]

Your Highness(Fabious) - Completed, April 8
Director: David Gordon Green; With: Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride
Rise of the Apes (Will Rodman) - Post, November 23
Director: Rupert Wyatt; With: Freida Pinto, Andy Serkis, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton
Maladies (James) - Post, 2011
Directer: Carter; With: Catherine Keener, Fallon Goodson, David Strathairn
Lovelace (Rumored: Chuck Traynor) - Pre-production, 2012
Director: Rob Epstein; With: Kate Hudson (Rumored)
Oz: The Great And Powerful (Oz) - Pre-production, 2013 - UPDATE: Just Confirmed.
Director: Sam Raimi; With: Mila Kunis (TBC)
The Broken Tower (Hart Crane, Screenwriter, Director, Producer) - Pre-production
With: Michael Shannon, Based On: Hart Crane's and Paul L. Mariani's biography of the same name.

IN DEVELOPMENT
Ricky Stanicky (ricky stanicky) - Script, 2011
Director: Jeffrey Bushell
As I Lay Dying (Screenplay, Director) - Script/Outline, 2011
The Iceman (Mr. Softee) - Unknown, 2011
Director: Ariel Vromen; With: Benicio Del Toro, Michael Shannon
The Night Stalker (Richard Ramirez, director, producer) - Script, 2012
While We're Young (Actor) - Script, 2012
Director: Noah Baumbach; With: Ben Stiller, Cate Blanchett
Holy Land (Screenwriter, Producer) - Optioned property, 2012
The Adderall Diaries (Actor, Writer, Producer, Director) - Optioned Property, 2012
Sal Mineo: A Biography (Rumored: James Dean, Screenwriter, Director) - Optioned property, 2013

PLUS
Three's Company: Franco might be developing.

Holy Land: Franco has the rights to the D. J. Waldie novel, About growing up in 1950s California suburb, which he read at UCLA.

Ham on Rye: Franco has the rights for an adaptation of the Charles Bukowski semi-biographical novel about coming of age in depression era Los Angeles. He is adapting it with his brother Dave.

And Franco is set to star with Nicole Kidman next fall in Sweet Bird of Youth on Broadway, with director David Cromer and producer Scott Rudin.

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Genres, Headliners, Independents, Stuck In Love, In Production, Production , Oscars, Remake, Drama, comedy, Biopics, Books, Screenwriters


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.