James Franco’s buying spree


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On Tuesday, D.J. Waldie sent around an e-mail announcing that James Franco had bought the rights to ‘Holy Land,’ Waldie’s memoir of growing up in Lakewood in the 1950s. New housing tracts! Fallout shelters! Strange neighbors! Suburban ennui! According to Waldie, Franco read ‘Holy Land’ while an undergraduate at UCLA.

It seems like Franco has been on something of a literary shopping spree. Two weeks ago, news spread that he was optioning Stephen Elliott’s ‘The Adderall Diaries,’ a book that is, for the most part, also a memoir. ‘If it were to be made, the idea is that James would write, direct and star in it,’ Elliott told the Observer. ‘He seems like a pretty busy guy, so I don’t know when he’s going to find the time for it, but I hope he does.’


In 2009, Franco told a New Yorker Festival audience that he’d optioned ‘The Broken Tower,’ a biography of poet Hart Crane, and Franco’s brother Dave told GQ that the two were working on an adaptation of Charles Bukowski’s ‘Ham on Rye.’

Of course, that’s not all James Franco is up to. He recently starred as Allen Ginsberg in ‘Howl’; appeared at New York Comic-Con on Friday to preview the stoner comedy ‘Your Highness’; was interviewed Tuesday at the Hamptons International Film Festival; appears in the upcoming film ‘127 Hours,’ which brings him to the Mill Valley Film Festival on Sunday; has been acting in General Hospital; enrolled as a PhD student at Yale; directed the short film ‘The Clerk’s Tale’ and ... well, I’m sure I’m missing something.

Oh, that’s right: He’s publishing his first collection of short stories, ‘Palo Alto,’ with Scribner. It officially hits shelves Oct. 19.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photos, from left: D.J. Waldie in 2006. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times. Stephen Elliott. Credit: via Flickr