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‘The Institute’ Trailer: James Franco Becomes an Mysterious Unorthodox Doctor in Psychological Thriller

A young woman checks herself into a mental institute and meets a doctor who conducts bizarre experiments.

James Franco the Institute

The ever-busy James Franco has taken on a darker role in his latest film, “The Institute.” Co-directed by Franco and Pamela Romanowsky, the movie is a period psychological thriller set in 19th century Baltimore. Now, ahead of its March release, Entertainment Weekly has unveiled the first trailer.

“The Institute” centers on Isabel Porter, a young woman (Allie Gallerani) who, after the untimely death of her parents, checks herself into the mental hospital Rosewood Institute. While there, she encounters Dr. Cairnes (Franco) who subjects her to unconventional bizarre, pseudo-scientific experiments in brainwashing and mind control.

“I can give you the freedom you desire,” he says in the clip, “but you will need to trust my methods — unorthodox though they may seem.”

READ MORE: James Franco to Star In and Executive Produce ‘High School Lover,’ His Second Lifetime Movie

“The Institute” also co-stars Josh Duhamel, Pamela Anderson, Topher Grace, Joe Pease, Scott Haze, Lori Singer and Tim Blake Nelson. Hailing from Rabbit Bandini Productions, the thriller is produced by Franco, Vince Jolivette, Jay Davis, Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman and Scott Reed.

Romanowsky and Franco have previously worked together on “The Adderall Diaries” and the short film “Tar.”

“The Institute” arrives in theaters on March 3, via Momentum Pictures.

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