James Franco is one of those rare actors who seems capable of taking on just about any new challenge a film presents him – but, if this new rumour is to be believed, he may be set to take on his most formidable challenge yet.
On this week’s edition of Meet The Movie Press, the typically well-informed journalist Jeff Snieder reports that Franco may be in the running for the lead in ‘The Predator,’ director Shane Black’s upcoming revival of the sci-fi action franchise.
He says Franco “may not be Shane Black’s top choice,” but hugely powerful casting agency CAA are pushing for their client to be cast in the role.
While Snieder stresses this should be treated purely as a rumour right now, he states, “[Franco] is very high on a list. That’s all I know at this point.”
And Snieder emphasises it may not just be the agency, but also the studio with a vested interest in the actor: “James Franco starred in ‘[Rise of the] Planet of the Apes’ for Fox; he also stars in Fox’s big Christmas comedy, ‘Why Him?’ … so Fox seems to like the James Franco brand.
“It could be interesting. I think Shane Black wants to do someone a little bit different.”
Snieder also mentions that Ben Affleck, Christian Bale and Tom Hardy were on Shane Black’s wishlist for the role earlier on – and, alas, he doesn’t seem to think that Dwayne Johnson is in the running for the film, as had been rumoured.
Followers of the ‘Predator’ series will recall that the last film in the series, 2010’s ‘Predators,’ cast someone “a little bit different” in the lead: Adrien Brody. While there wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with the Oscar-winning ‘The Pianist’ actor’s performance in the Nimrod Antall-directed reboot, it didn’t reignite the franchise the way Fox had hoped.
Of course, it’s almost impossible to judge Franco’s suitability for the lead in ‘The Predator’ as we know nothing about the role, other than that in the current draft of the script (from Black and Fred Dekker) his name is Quinn McKenna.
If McKenna’s meant to be an uber-tough military man in the same vein as Dutch, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hero from the 1987 original, then Franco is far from the obvious choice; but who’s to say what the character might be like at this point?
‘The Predator’ is scheduled to hit cinemas in February 2018.
Picture Credit: 20th Century Fox, Sony, WENN