Days after taking to his Instagram account to pan the notion of a "Spring Breakers" sequel as "lame," James Franco continued his social-media campaign against the proposed movie with another rebuke on Wednesday -- at the same time as the sequel began seeking funds at the Cannes Film Festival.
In a caption accompanying a photo of himself on Instagram, Franco wrote, "I want everyone to know that whoever is involved in the sequel is jumping on board a poison ship. It will be a terrible film, with a horrible reason d'etre: to make money off someone else's creativity."
Franco is irate that the sequel is being developed without input from him or Harmony Korine, who directed the original 2012 artsploitation movie starring Franco, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez.
"The original was wholly Harmony's creation and these producers are capitalizing on that innovative film to make money on a weak sequel," Franco wrote. He added, "I'm speaking up for Harmony and his original vision and for any creative person who cares about preserving artistic integrity."
"Spring Breakers: The Second Coming" was announced last week by the French sales and distribution company Wild Bunch and Los Angeles-based Muse Productions, which owns the concept.
The new film, to be directed by Swedish music-video veteran Jonas Akerlund ("Spun") from a script by Scottish writer Irvine Welsh (the novel "Trainspotting"), is being peddled at the Cannes market. On Thursday, attendees and passersby at the festival could see a banner touting the new film mounted on a facade near the Grand Hotel.
The banner had the same garish aesthetic and was placed in the same high-traffic spot as the ad pushing the first film to international buyers a few years ago, many of which responded enthusiastically at the time.
But unlike that banner, there were no images of famous actors on this one -- there are, in fact, no casting choices as yet on the film at all -- with Akerlund and Welsh's names providing the only brand recognition, after a fashion, anyway.
There were, however, a number of provocative images, including one of a pistol (partly) covering naked buttocks. (How much these images have to do with the script is not exactly clear.)
Attention at the festival is key to getting the film made -- the volume of sales Wild Bunch can drum up is directly proportional to the prospective film's budget, and even a greenlight in the first place. Those sales become an exponentially bigger challenge without an actor attached.
In that sense, Franco may not simply have been sounding off when he issued his Instagram denunciations. Potential buyers could be scared off by the idea that the film not only will lack the support of its original stars but face a campaign against it to boot.