James Franco Succeeds at Proving Himself Even Weirder
Hollywood’s weirdest overachiever, James Franco, has added yet another line on his novel-length resume: an original short comedy series-game show hybrid on AOL. Making a Scene With James Franco sees the actor spinning a wheel in order to randomly select scenes from famous films to mash up and reenact in what’s essentially a super bizarre improv game. The trailer for the series sees Franco donning a wig and false teeth to portray Napoleon Dynamite and Pulp Fiction‘s Vincent Vega at the same time.
The series promises to include appearances from Franco’s “friends,” so expect Seth Rogen to pop up, as well as other actors typically featured in Franco’s art movies. The show looks like it will be a typically Franco-esque parody of both famous movies and his own public personae. Movies from Braveheart to Twilight to The Godfather are on Franco’s wheel of improv, just waiting for the actor to put on some bad costumes and demonstrate this skills as our generation’s greatest thespian. The series debuts on September 17 and will air 10 episodes.
While you probably haven’t used or thought about AOL in years, the company is attempting to build its own online media presence with original series from celebrities including Nicole Richie, Steve Buscemi, and Kevin Nealon. The shorts give the celebrities the opportunity to experiment with off-the-wall projects, as the shorter, online-only format is less risky than a traditional television series. Giving those big names those kinds of opportunities draws their star power to the up-and-coming online media channel.
Fans of Franco’s more humorous work in movies like This Is the End as well as his strange Instagram account will likely enjoy the Web series, which promises to let Franco show off all his film knowledge from too many years of graduate school and overall be very meta. The fact that Franco already has a strong online presence, with more than 2.7 million followers on Instagram, is good news for a Web-based series, which he’ll likely promote on social media.
This isn’t even the weirdest thing that Franco has done lately: His entrance as the Venice Film Festival was filmed as a part of his movie Zeroville. Franco arrived to receive the “Glory to the Filmmaker” award in advance of the premiere screening of his adaptation of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury in character as a man obsessed with movies attending the Venice Film Festival in 1977, The Hollywood Reporter said. Franco walked the red carpet wearing a velvet suit with a shaved head, a fake mustache, and Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift fake-tattooed to the back of his skull. After the filming was done, Franco said that he hopes to premiere Zeroville at the festival next year.
Franco’s self-referential art, from his movies to his literature, annoys many critics, who often accuse him of never having actually made anything good despite constantly producing a massive amount of work. Making a Scene With James Franco is unlikely to change the art world’s perception of Franco, but it will probably be entertaining to the same people who like his sense of humor.
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