James Franco has just agreed to star in an indie drama written by NYU Film School Professor Jay Anania called “In Praise of Shadows”. The drama begins shooting next week and recounts the story of one man’s “eccentric and curious journey” back to New York City after four years in exile to rescue the woman he loves from a crime syndicate. I’m not sure why the man had to go into exile to rescue the woman he loves either – I think this what they call one of them “arty” flicks.
The fact that a star of James Franco’s stature would be involved in what is really a glorified student film (OK, as head of the NYU’s Directing Program, Jay Anania is a bit above student level) would be weird if it were not for the fact that Franco just wrapped up his freshman year as an NYU Film School student. And did I mention that the actor is also producing “In Praise” through his Rabbit Bandini Productions? Guess who’s gonna be able to coast for the next three years?!!
Anania tells Variety that Franco is just another gifted student: “I was immediately struck by his inventiveness and talent,” he said. And I’m sure the fact that Franco’s involvement secured the $10 million necessary for Anania to direct his film didn’t hurt either. But hey – he’s just another student, right?