Earlier this year, James Franco pulled double-duty on The Deuce by playing twin brothers, but apparently two isn’t enough for the actor. THR reports that Franco is in talks to join the X-Men universe by playing Jamie Madrox, aka Multiple Man, in a standalone movie that Simon Kinberg will produce. The character previously appeared on screen in X-Men: The Last Stand played by Eric Dane. His superpower is that he can make multiple versions of himself (his alias is not misleading).
While that may not seem like enough for a character to hold up his own movie, especially for such a deep cut character like Multiple Man, consider the direction the X-Men films are headed in. Uninterested in building an expanded universe like Marvel Studios, Fox has instead opted to send their superhero movies into different genres. Logan was a western noir; Deadpool is a raunchy R-rated comedy; and The New Mutants will be a horror movie. So look at a character like Multiple Man and you can see the appeal of something more dramatic that could be a look at fractured identity rather than just generic superhero boilerplate. For Franco, who already did the standard superhero thing with the Spider-Man movies, I can bet that a unique take on the genre would be appealing, especially if it’s incredibly different from what we’ve come to expect.
Allan Heinberg, one of the credited writers on Wonder Woman, will pen the screenplay, and Franco would produce alongside Kinberg.
Franco will next be seen in an awards-worthy turn as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist. He’s also signed on to star in the Coen Brothers’ first TV project, the anthology series The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Kinberg is at work directing his first X-Men movie, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which is set to arrive on November 2, 2018.