James Franco remains ever busy both in front of and behind the camera. His next project, which seems very much in his wheelhouse, is a fictionalized version of the making of Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” called “The Masterpiece.” Franco both directs and stars in the adaptation of Greg Sestero’s book “The Disaster Artist,” and among the many others appearing in the film — like his brother Dave, Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Zac Efron, Hannibal Buress and Jacki Weaver — is Franco’s “Why Him?” co-star Bryan Cranston, who will play…Bryan Cranston.
“It took eight months for [‘Why Him?’] to go ahead and I asked Bryan to play Sheriff in ‘In Dubious Battle,’ and then I directed ‘The Masterpiece’ and he did that too,” Franco explains in an interview with the South China Morning Post. “I asked if he would play himself, and he actually plays a version of himself from the early 2000s, so it’s Bryan Cranston from ‘Malcolm in the Middle.’ It just speaks to his love of cinema that he supports his fellow artists.”
Though the casting might seem unusual, Franco is quick to point out that Cranston was best known for his comic chops before introducing the world to Walter White. “After ‘Breaking Bad,’ I think people had forgotten how Bryan is this great comedic actor — as that’s what he did for years and years,” Franco continues. “When we were filming ‘Why Him?,’ Bryan said to me, ‘This is the most fun I’ve had in a decade.'”
Warner Brothers will release “The Masterpiece” in theaters sometime in 2017.