First Look at James Franco as Tommy Wiseau in ‘The Disaster Artist’

     December 8, 2015


There’s quite a lot to be said about multi-hyphenate James Franco, but you must admit this: the former Freaks and Geeks star keeps busy. Not only has Franco been appearing in an innumerable amount of major comedic (and minor dramatic) roles over the last few years, but he’s also ventured into blogging, academics, and , most importantly, filmmaking. Since 2005, Franco has directed a number of features, shorts, and documentaries, but has only really started to gain interest with his recent William Faulkner adaptations, as well as his take on Cormac McCarthy‘s sublimely bleak Child of God. Though The Sound and the Fury has yet to be released, along with his adaptation of Zeroville and his film about Charles Bukowski, Franco is already hard at work on a variety of new works, most prominently The Disaster Artist, his telling of the making of Tommy Wiseau‘s notorious The Room. You can check out the first image of Franco, playing Wiseau, and his brother, Dave Franco, playing co-star Greg Sestero, below. The image was posted to his Facebook account earlier today:


On top of this, it was announced today by Variety that Kate Upton and Zac Efron have joined the cast of the film in unannounced roles, and they join a surprisingly vibrant cast that includes Josh Hutcherson, Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor, Hannibal Burress, and Jacki Weaver. As for the Brothers Franco, the shambling look of both is familiar if you’ve seen any of Franco’s other films. There’s a charming, scrappy quality to Franco’s directorial efforts, though his clear passion for the art is often more evident than actual skill, thoughtfulness, or technical know-how.

His choice of subject matter, in this case, is not particularly surprising, considering Franco’s hipster leanings, and it certainly has the potential to bring out the frenetic ambition of Franco as both a director and an actor. One has to wonder, however, if this will  just end up being a paean to a movie that has long ago exhausted its credit as one of the premiere so-bad-it’s-good movies ever made. If Franco’s ultimate goal is to hammer at the heart of subjectivity, to contemplate filmmaking as a job and artistic endeavor, there could be something here, but if he’s out to further mythologize a film and filmmaker that have already been given way too much attention, you can count me out.


Image via TPW Films

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