James Franco Wants to Make a Movie About the Worst Movie Ever
The latest in a seemingly endless string of weirdness from King of the Weirdos James Franco involves him possibly playing cult film icon Tommy Wiseau in a movie adapted from a recent book that chronicled the making of Wiseau’s weird, terrible masterpiece, The Room. Franco’s friend and collaborator Seth Rogen spoke about the project on SiriusXM radio show Opie & Anthony.
In December, Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions purchased the rights to the book The Disaster Artist, which was written by Wiseau’s co-star in The Room, Greg Sestero, with journalist Tom Bissell, who had previously written about the movie. Rogen talked about why the film that has been called “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” has shown such lasting appeal and continues to have screenings around the country more than 10 years after its release.
“Franco optioned the book and then asked me and Evan, my producer partner, to help him produce a movie based on the book,” Rogen said on the radio show while promoting his current film, Neighbors.
“It’s your instinct to just say, fuck this movie, it’s a horrible piece of shit, why would you do this? What an idiot. But it’s kind of, what you can’t ignore is that there’s tons of bad movies that aren’t watchable and that like no one watches over and over and over again. So there is something you kind of have to give credit to, because of all the shitty movies [Wiseau] made one that like people still watch 10 years later … There is something oddly brilliant about it,” Rogen said.
“He might play Tommy Wiseau,” Rogen said when asked what Franco’s role would be in the film. Franco and Rogen have collaborated in the past on films including Pineapple Express and This Is the End, as well as a brilliant parody of Kanye West’s music video for “Bound 2.” Franco and Rogen are so funny that even West, who is not often one to appreciate it when people make fun of him, asked the pair to perform at his upcoming nuptials to Kim Kardashian.
Franco expressed interest in The Room and The Disaster Artist in an article about the book he wrote for Vice in December. He says of Wiseau in the article: “He, like so many people with stars in their eyes, sees film not only as a medium of expression, but the gate to acceptance. It is the place where his work will find like-minded people who will learn to love him through his work, not only because of it. This is the hope of most artists, and the book turns Tommy’s sometimes ridiculous struggle into a paradigm for those wishing to be creative in a world where it is usually too hard to be. In so many ways, Tommy c’est moi.”
Franco is the perfect actor to tackle Wiseau, who spent millions of his own money to finance making what’s been called the worst film of all time. Some still have a hard time believing that Wiseau was serious about the movie: that the whole thing wasn’t just a massive joke. The director himself has had to reinterpret his only film, which has become beloved, but not for the reasons he wanted.
Franco is an enigmatic and mysterious actor who could pull off Wiseau’s weirdness and delusions in a sympathetic manner despite being way too beautiful for the part. The actor is known as much for well-respected indie projects (Spring Breakers) as his comedies with Rogen and his experimental Instagram account that is updated for the sole purpose of getting attention for controversial selfies. Franco’s clear interest in public versus private selves plus walking the fine line between joking and being deadly serious makes the role of Wiseau make total sense for him.
The actor is busy performing in the Broadway production of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men; promoting his new movie Palo Alto, which was directed by Gia Coppola and is based on a book of short stories written by Franco about his youth in California; and teaching college classes in California. He also stars in the upcoming thriller Good People, co-starring Kate Hudson.
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