Dave Franco is set to follow in his brother James’ footsteps and step behind the camera for The Rental, an indie horror-thriller that will star his wife, Alison Brie, as well as Dan Stevens, Sheila Vand and Shameless star Jeremy Allen White.
Franco will direct from a script he co-wrote with his Easy collaborator Joe Swanberg, and the two of them will produce along with Teddy Schwarzman and Ben Stillman of Black Bear Pictures, Franco’s producing partners Vince Jolivette and Elizabeth Haggard of Ramona Films, and Chris Storer. Black Bear’s Michael Heimler will executive produce along with Sean Durkin. Black Bear will fully finance the film, which will start production in April in Oregon.
According to reports, The Rental is a character-driven horror-thriller about two couples who rent a vacation home for what should be a celebratory weekend getaway. I wonder, however, whether the two couples are traveling together, or whether they double-booked the vacation home, with each couple refusing to leave. Either way, I love genre movies like this, and think it could be the perfect project for Franco to cut his teeth on as a first-time director.
I suppose it was inevitable that Dave Franco would give filmmaking a shot, given his older brother’s aptitude for writing, directing and producing his own material. Since breaking out in a trio of franchises — 21 Jump Street, Neighbors and Now You See Me — Franco has made it a point to seek out more challenging dramatic material, tackling a supporting role in Barry Jenkins‘ If Beale Street Could Talk, and playing a heroin addict in the Netflix drama 6 Balloons. Franco may have also been inspired to direct by his wife and new leading lady, Brie, who recently directed her first episode of GLOW, the hit Netflix comedy on which she stars opposite Betty Gilpin and Marc Maron. Brie, too, has pushed herself to flex her dramatic chops, taking on a supporting role in Steven Spielberg‘s The Post. Both Brie and Franco appeared in The Disaster Artist as well.
Stevens currently stars on FX’s Legion and recently played the title character in Beauty and the Beast. White plays Lip on Showtime’s long-running hit Shameless, and he recently had a recurring role on Amazon’s Homecoming. Vand’s credits include Ben Affleck‘s Argo and Ana Lily Amirpour‘s vampire movie A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.
Ramona Films recently wrapped Janicza Bravo‘s stripper saga Zola, which is expected to be released later this year by A24. Discussing Film broke the news, while Deadline brought word of White and Vand’s castings.