James Franco Once Tried to Be a Part of the ‘Twilight’ Franchise

James Franco is no stranger to hit franchises. He was already a part of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies, but later on, he wanted to dabble with another blockbuster series. Franco at one point made it clear that he wanted a role in the successful twilight films. But many factors prevented that from happening.

James Franco wanted to be a part of the ‘Twilight’ franchise

James Franco smiling while wearing a suit.
James Franco | Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Franco admitted to having an interest in the Twilight franchise. So much so he’s even read the books, but not because he necessarily liked the story.

“I wouldn’t say I enjoy them, but I’m fascinated with them. I’m interested in the metaphor of the vampire placed in the high school setting and how a relationship with a vampire can stand in for general feelings that people have as teenagers,” he told MTV News. “And the obsession people have with that is also fascinating to me.”

But Franco’s interest didn’t just end at being a fan. The Spider-Man actor wanted a role in the movies as well. He asserted, however, that being a part of Twilight would’ve partially been for a school project.

“I was working with a Yale undergraduate who had written an autobiographical play about putting on a theatrical production of Twilight in which I was a character,” Franco told Playboy (via The Guardian) “I was interested in Twilight because I was going to be part of that play. I thought what a great connection it would be if I were also involved with the real Twilight.”

James Franco once joked that the ‘Twilight’ series was leading toward a scene inspired by ‘Brokeback Mountain’

Franco believed that the Twilight films were getting so popular that you couldn’t separate the actors from the characters. Even when reading just the books.

“The movies are interesting also because they’ve really become part of the whole Twilight phenomenon, and it’s really hard to extricate those actors from the reading experience or just the phenomenon of Twilight now. They’ve become a part of it to the point that the movies are almost commenting on themselves,” Franco said.

He also quipped that the Twilight movies could’ve led to a scene between co-stars Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner that mirrored Brokeback Mountain.

“There will be a scene where the go-to guys, Taylor and Rob, are in the tent, it’s almost like a Brokeback Mountain scene, where the two guys are talking in a tent and the girl is asleep, and they’re having, like, this romantic moment almost through her, in a way. One of them says, ‘Well, I’m hotter than you,’ and it’s almost like they’re winking at the fans, like to the Team Jacob or the Team Edwards,” Franco explained.

Bill Condon on why he didn’t hire James Franco for ‘Twilight’

Bill Condon was the director of Breaking Dawn, and once confirmed to MTV News that Franco truly wanted to be in the film. However, there were a few factors Condon took into account when thinking about hiring The Disaster Artist actor for a cameo.
“He told a friend of mine, who then sent the message along to me,” Condon said. “And for a moment it was like, okay, what could James Franco play that wouldn’t feel like ‘Where’s Waldo?’”

But Condon asserted that it simply didn’t work out.

“I really thought about it for a second, and nothing made sense,” he continued.

Condon acknowledged that Franco felt he was rejected for the offer. But to him, that was far from the case.

“It wasn’t that,” Condon elaborated. “If it had made sense, and frankly if I had called and said ‘Do you want to play that vampire from that country,’ it would have involved hanging around for two months in a scene with 80 people. And I don’t know if he really would have wanted to do it.”

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