James Franco in Talks for ‘Lovelace’, ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ and ‘Akira’
As if James Franco’s schedule doesn’t seem packed enough; what with his Oscar co-hosting gig, stints on soap opera General Hospital, studying at two different schools (Yale and Rhode Island School of Design) and numerous film projects in various stages of development, now comes several reports in the past few weeks that he is in negotiations for three more separate films!
First up is a report from The Wrap last month that Franco is in talks to collaborate with his Howl directors (Jeffrey Friedman, Rob Epstein) again for Lovelace, a biopic of 70s pornstar turned anti-porn feminist Linda Lovelace, where Franco would play Lovelace’s abusive husband pornographer Chuck Traynor. Among the many events that Lovelace stated allegedly transpired during their marriage was his coercion of Lovelace into pornography, prostitution, rape and mental/physical abuse. Kate Hudson is apparently in talks for the title role and the script is based on Eric Danville’s book The Complete Linda Lovelace. Now this is not to be confused with Inferno, the other Linda Lovelace biopic that is already in production starring Malin Akerman (Watchmen, Couples Retreat) who reportedly replaced Lindsay Lohan in the lead role and will be directed by Matthew Wilder.
Next is the revolving door on the Sam Raimi Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz: The Great and Powerful. This is another project that Robert Downey Jr. was attached to but then dropped out. Johnny Depp later came on board for negotiations but that did not pan out either. Multiple sources including Total Film, has a story that Franco is now in talks to take on the title role but nothing is set in stone yet.
Last but not least, several days after news about Oz came out, Just Jared posted an exclusive that Franco is also in talks to play the lead role of Kaneda in a Warner Bros. live action adaptation of Akira. Akira is a six volume cyberpunk manga series byKatsuhiro Otomo, set in a post-apocalyptic world of Neo Tokyo in the near future. The film’s plot will be similar to the manga but instead be “set in New Manhattan, where the leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.” Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) is on board as director with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company behind the movie.
If they do all come through (which may not be likely) all these projects on top of the existing ones should be able to keep James Franco busy for the next five years?