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James Franco Will Direct and Star in a Shel Silverstein Biopic

The giving tree is offering us another biopic.

James Franco

James Franco

Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

Now that he’s done playing Tommy Wiseau, James Franco is turning his attention to a much less disastrous artist: Shel Silverstein. Deadline reports that the multi-multi-hyphenate is now in talks to both direct and star in a biopic about the children’s author, songwriter, poet, and cartoonist, whose books have adorned many a classroom for decades.

Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair are writing the as-yet untitled project, which is based on the Lisa Rogak book “A Boy Named Shel.” Deadline’s report notes that the film “will focus on the personal and professional struggles that made Silverstein a unique voice.”

Silverstein, who was born in 1930 and died in 1999, is best known for books like “The Giving Tree,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” and “Falling Up.” He won two Grammys and was nominated for both a Golden Globe and Academy Award for writing the song “I’m Checkin’ Out” for the soundtrack to “Postcards From the Edge.” Given how prolific he was in a number of different fields, it’s easy to see what drew Franco to the project.

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