James Franco is typically attracted to adaptations from literary giants like Faulkner and Steinbeck, but his newest lead role is in a film based on Neil Strauss’s controversial but best-selling memoir/ how-to guide, “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists,” about Strauss’s experience under the tutelage of professional seducers.
Strauss, a journalist, stumbled across the pick-up-artist community while working on an article, and ended up attending a boot camp that taught “uber-geeky” men how to pick up women. It was there that Strauss met his wing-man and guru, Mystery, who Franco will be portraying in the film.
As Strauss says, “Nearly every person I meet has a strong opinion on The Game, whether they’ve read it or not,” and it will be interesting to see how the film portrays and deals with its polarizing content. Some claim Strauss’s guide changed their life, others admonish the book for highlighting seduction tactics that undermine a woman’s self-esteem.
As for the film version, it’s been announced that Franco will be partnering with producer Demian Gregory for a four film deal, through Gregory’s film financing groups, The Aristocracy and Composite Media Capital, and Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions. Also on the slate are executive producers Nicholas Cafritz and Robert Reed Peterson, and Franco’s business partner, Vince Jolivette. The film is being pushed for production in 2017.