ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT MOVIES Movies Now

James Franco is James Franco, yet again

James Franco's brother Dave Franco will join him in an upcoming movie about the cult favorite 'The Room'

Every day brings James Franco news; some days just bring more than others.

Even by his standards, the hyphenate has been busy this week — penning a meta short story, casting a meta movie, helping the next generation create the next wave of (meta?) shorts.

First, Franco has enlisted his brother Dave to star in "The Disaster Artist," his film about "The Room," the cult sensation by unlikely auteur Tommy Wiseau that has been called the greatest bad movie ever made.

Dave Franco will play actor Greg Sestero, whose book "The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room" (cowritten by Tom Bissell) provides the basis for the movie. (It's rare, outside Franco meta land and maybe "Think Like A Man," for the author of a book on which a movie is based to appear in said movie.)

The book chronicles Sestero's experiences making Wiseau's self-distributed 2003 drama, which has attracted a fervid following over the years in spite — and because — of its amateurish qualities. (James Franco previously explored the making of a cult film, of a very different kind, via "Interior. Leather Bar," about the controversial 1980 movie "Cruising.)

As befits such a hall-of-mirrors-like project, the news emerged during a late-night Los Angeles screening of "The Room," where Wiseau was participating in an audience Q&A. At one point, Dave Franco stood up and asked, "Tommy, how do you feel about me playing Greg Sestero in the movie?"

The crowd cheered, and Wiseau said, "That's what I say: It's a good choice!"

The elder Franco, who is directing, producing and starring in "Disaster Artist," also posted a photo of his brother and Wiseau on his Instagram account, accompanied by the caption, "Davy Franco and Tommy Weiseau!!!!! 'The Disaster Artist' Coming Soon!!!!"

Franco, it turns out, was just getting started. News from the wizardly one continued with an online screenwriting class Franco began offering Tuesday via the site Skillshare.

For $25 bucks you can take the class and learn how to pen shorts from Franco and producing partner Vince Jolivette; if you write one of the better scripts (according to online peer voting) Franco will offer some personalized feedback.

"There’s part of me that also thinks of my younger self, who wasn’t in those film programs, because I really get excited by the idea of being able to share some of our experiences and lessons,” Franco says in a trailer promoting the program, adding he's "as equipped" as anyone.

And speaking of those experiences, Franco is going back down a meta rabbit hole with a new story in the fiction issue of Vice magazine. He's written a yarn — maybe fiction, maybe not — called "Bungalow 89," which features the character "Lindsay Lohan" and has the first-person narrator visiting her at the Chateau Marmont (site of some past LiLo exploits). Once there, he reads her Salinger stories and listens to her musings, while generally having, what else, a literary interaction or three.

As it's a James Franco story, James Franco interrupts the story to ask, Franco-ishly, if readers believe this really happened to James Franco.

Follow @ogettell and @zeitchikLAT for movie news

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Artists and filmmakers make surprising leaps in 2014
    Artists and filmmakers make surprising leaps in 2014

    Exhibiting raw promise is one thing, but to exceed those initial flashes is something really special. Throughout this year, many filmmakers and performers were pressing on in remarkable ways, showing that even artists who have already exhibited notable skill, talent and accomplishment still...

  • Mark Olsen's best indie films of 2014
    Mark Olsen's best indie films of 2014

    Throughout the year people you thought you knew showed they were still full of surprises. In 2014, when some would see cinema as a storytelling mode and cultural force as an endangered species, these are vital signs of life. Here is Mark Olsen's top ten list of independent films:

  • Kenneth Turan's best films of 2014
    Kenneth Turan's best films of 2014

    What's the point of doing a 10 best list if you put only 10 films on it?

  • Daring films lifted the artform in 2014
    Daring films lifted the artform in 2014

    Like voices crying in the wilderness — rising above that vast wasteland of movie mediocrity — came the roar of the auteurs in 2014. A rangy group with varying aesthetics, they've left an indelible imprint on cinema despite the 400 or so of the marginal that clogged our theaters...

  • Everyone loses in a December deluge of films
    Everyone loses in a December deluge of films

    I try not to publicly argue with film legends, even those who are no longer alive. But when Mae West famously said that "too much of a good thing can be wonderful," she clearly was not considering a film critic's lot in December.

  • Goodbyes abound in 'Night at the Museum' as trilogy comes to an end
    Goodbyes abound in 'Night at the Museum' as trilogy comes to an end

    "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," otherwise known as "Night at the Museum 3," rates as more determinedly heartfelt than the first and not as witty as the second (and best). Also, no Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart in jodhpurs this time around.

Comments
Loading