James Franco’s movie about Tommy Wiseau is really happening, and he’s enlisted two unlikely screenwriters to pen the script. Franco is set to direct and star in The Disaster Artist, which revolves around eccentric The Room writer/director/producer/star Tommy Wiseau, and now The Wrap reports that The Fault in Our Stars and The Spectacular Now screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber have been hired to pen the script. They will be adapting the book of the same name by The Room actor Greg Sestero and journalist Tom Bissell, and Dave Franco is already attached to play Sestero in the film.
Franco describes his take as a “funny, heartfelt story about trying to make your dreams come true,” and I’m rather curious to see how he navigates the line between parody and earnestness in his chronicle of Wiseau’s path to making The Room—truly one of the most entertaining bad movies ever made. More on The Disaster Artist movie after the jump.
Franco is also producing The Disaster Artist alongside Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, so the film has some serious pedigree. As a fan of Neustadter and Weber’s work, I think their hiring on this project is pretty exciting specifically because it’s so out of left field. They have thus far excelled at penning films about youth and love, like (500) Days of Summer and the upcoming John Green adaptation Paper Towns, but I’m very curious to see how they handle this kind of material.
Read the synopsis for the book The Disaster Artist below.
Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau’s scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, “I have to do a scene with this guy.” That impulse changed both of their lives. Wiseau seemed never to have read the rule book on interpersonal relationships (or the instructions on a bottle of black hair dye), yet he generously offered to put the aspiring actor up in his LA apartment. Sestero’s nascent acting career first sizzled, then fizzled, resulting in Wiseau’s last-second offer to Sestero of costarring with him in The Room, a movie Wiseau wrote and planned to finance, produce, and direct—in the parking lot of a Hollywood equipment-rental shop.
Wiseau spent $6 million of his own money on his film, but despite the efforts of the disbelieving (and frequently fired) crew and embarrassed (and frequently fired) actors, the movie made no sense. Nevertheless Wiseau rented a Hollywood billboard featuring his alarming headshot and staged a red carpet premiere. The Room made $1800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. One reviewer said that watching The Room was like “getting stabbed in the head.”
The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero’s laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon, with Wiseau himself beloved as an oddball celebrity. Written with award-winning journalist Tom Bissell, The Disaster Artist is an inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of an enigmatic man who will improbably capture your heart. [Amazon]