Who are you, James Franco? In his never-ending quest to defy convention, Franco recently picked up a role in actioner “Homefront,” written by Sylvester Stallone and starring Jason Statham, returned to TV for four episodes of “Hollywood Heights,” and will cameo later this year in “Lovelace” as Hugh Hefner, as well as appear in the seemingly-shot-in-a-weekend thriller “The Letter.” With starring roles in Sam Raimi‘s “Oz: The Great and Powerful” and Harmony Korine‘s “Spring Breakers” set for 2013, what’s next for Franco? How about teaming up with Lindsay Lohan (sort of) for a film about themselves while also directing an adaptation of William Faulkner‘s “As I Lay Dying?”
OK, so while many wouldn’t associate Franco and Lohan together, the pair have apparently known each other since 2006, when they cameo’d together in Nancy Meyers‘ “The Holiday.” According to the Guardian, the two are close and have wanted to collaborate on something and have settled on a “video/art project” that will feature lookalikes portraying the two actors in various ages of 13, 21, 30, 45 and 60. In the Actor’s Access casting notice, Franco is listed as the director and producers Vince Jolivette and Miles Levy, partners in Franco’s Rabbit Bandini production company, are overseeing the project. The project is said to “encompass the lives of two Hollywood celebrities,” so let your imagination run wild with that one.
That’s not the only directing project Franco is apparently casting. The LA Times reported last week that he is also getting his adaptation of Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” off the ground, which Franco started talking about publicly last year. Reportedly, the casting process began last Wednesday in Jackson, Mississippi, with producers looking for “white boys 8 to 10 years old, who can play a young-looking, country boy with a slight rebellious and dreamy nature” and “white girls age 16 to 25, who are described as clean-kept, attractive girls.” The novel, which employed fifteen narrators to tell the story, won’t be completely in the hands of younger actors, with “men of all races ages 40 and older” sought for supporting roles. Franco, who could play one of the main roles in his adaptation, has said that he wants “to be loyal to the book,” despite the unconventional nature of the storytelling. How he plans to juggle that adaptation while also working on his Lohan/Franco project is anybody’s guess.
While Franco has also remained exhaustively prolific, there is one movie he won’t be starring in — John Hillcoat‘s “Lawless” — although he could have. According to THR, Franco was cast to play one of the Bondurant brothers in the Depression-era gangster film until its initial funding dropped out in early 2009. Instead, he went on to work on “127 Hours,” which earned him his a Best Actor Oscar nomination, so we’re guessing he’s not sweating that one.
Whatever exactly Franco is doing, he’s certainly cutting an unconventional path, which we imagine is all by design. And while there are likely many that aren’t thrilled at the prospect of a Lohan/Franco life-examining “art project” starring lookalikes….wait, is there anyone not thrilled by it? Sounds amazingly weird to us.