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James Franco Shooting Hart Crane Biopic ‘The Broken Tower’ Next Month, Michael Shannon Joining Cast?

James Franco Shooting Hart Crane Biopic 'The Broken Tower' Next Month, Michael Shannon Joining Cast?

Not satisfied with a gestating Ph.D at Yale University and a major shot at award season glory for his performance in Danny Boyle‘s “127 Hours,” James Franco is reportedly deep in pre-production on his next directorial effort, set to begin lensing in two weeks.

The project he’ll be tackling? The previously announced adaptation of Paul L Mariani‘s “The Broken Tower,” a biography of American poet Hart Crane, who gained popularity with his Brooklyn Bridge-inspired “The Bridge.” His last poem was the eponymous ‘Broken Tower,’ inspired by Crane’s only heterosexual affair (with Peggy Crowley) that has now been widely interpreted as his death ode. Crane controversially ended his life by jumping off the steamship SS Orizaba while yelling “Goodbye, everyone!” at the age of 32.

No cast has been unveiled for the film as of yet but Showbiz411 additionally reports that Oscar-nominated actor Michael Shannon has been mentioned as a cast member. Franco and Shannon, of course, teamed up for short film “Herbert White” — itself an adaptation of a Frank Bidart poem — which premiered at Sundance earlier this year. At 36 years of age though, Shannon might be a little too old depending on which parts of Crane’s life the script, which Franco adapted for the screen himself, focuses on.

If the Amazon review is anything to go by though, Franco might do well by focusing on one of the novel’s apparent strengths, “Crane’s final despairing months in Mexico and his sole tormented heterosexual affair.” The novel is also said to “illuminate previously shadowy corners of the writer’s life” and “make a convincing case for Crane as one of the greatest American poets of the century.” After the reported shortcomings of another poet biopic involving Franco, Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein‘s Allen Ginsberg story “Howl,” it’ll definitely be interesting to see how he plans to bring the life of Crane to the screen.

Shooting on “The Broken Tower” will take place throughout New York and begin in mid-November. The restless, talented Franco is also working with younger brother Dave on an adaptation of Charles Bukowski‘s “Ham On Rye” and has adaptations of Stephen Elliott‘s “The Adderall Diaries” and D.J. Walkdie‘s “The Holy Landin the works.

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