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Say what you will about James Franco, you can’t deny he isn’t a prolific artist. With a metric ton of projects that are either ongoing or announced, Franco has enough work to keep him busy for the next half a century. And like any actor-director, he has his favored collaborators, and he’s just announced that Bryan Cranston will play a younger version of himself for their third collaboration together.

Speaking with the South China Morning Post, Franco revealed that Cranston had agreed to star in Franco’s The Masterpiece.

It took eight months for [Why Him?] to go ahead and I asked Bryan to play Sheriff in In Dubious Battle, and then I directed The Masterpiece and he did that too. I asked if he would play himself, and he actually plays a version of himself from the early 2000s, so it’s Bryan Cranston from Malcolm in the Middle. It just speaks to his love of cinema that he supports his fellow artists.

Franco also mentioned that he appreciated Cranston’s ability as a comedic actor and felt like he hadn’t been able to flex those muscles since Breaking Bad.

After Breaking Bad, I think people had forgotten how Bryan is this great comedic actor – as that’s what he did for years and years,” Franco says of the former Malcolm in the Middle star. “When we were filming Why Him?, Bryan said to me, ‘This is the most fun I’ve had in a decade.’ So I found him to be a strong comedic and improvisational partner like Seth, in his own way. He could fly with anything.

He’s absolutely right about Cranston’s comedic chops, and while Why Him? isn’t doing as great as either of them had probably hoped, it’s good to see Cranston having a little fun again. Who knows, maybe The Masterpiece will actually be a masterpiece.

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The star of ‘Why Him’ worked on over 60 projects in 2016, and admits to Stephen that he may a problem.



In a new video to promote their new comedy WHY HIM, co-stars Bryan Cranston and James Franco guess which quotes were either said by a man from Florida or by a tech billionaire. The film, also starring Zoey Deutch, hits theaters on December 25, 2016. Check out the video below, courtesy of Mashable!

Over the holidays, Ned (Bryan Cranston), an overprotective but loving dad and his family visit his daughter at Stanford, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward SILICON VALLEY billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). The straight-laced Ned thinks Laird, who has absolutely no filter, is a wildly inappropriate match for his daughter. The one-sided rivalry-and Ned’s panic level-escalate when he finds himself increasingly out of step in the glamorous high-tech hub, and learns that Laird is about to pop the question.

John Hamburg directs the film from a script he co-wrote with Ian Helfer. WHY HIM is produced by Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps and Ben Stiller’s Red Hour.

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Thinking about just how awkward this holiday season is going to be with your family this year can be a depressing and uncomfortable experience. Watching someone else suffer through a really awkward holiday season, though? That’s comedy gold. Or so the new comedy Why Him? would like to think.

Bryan Cranston plays the doting father of a bright young woman (Zoey Deutch) who’s excited to introduce her new boyfriend (James Franco) to her family. Problem is, he’s kind of the worst — an Silicon Valley “zillionaire” who has “literally no filter.” Making matters even more upsetting, he’s thinking about proposing. At first the boyfriend tries to ingratiate himself with the family, but when that plan fails an all-out war develops between the would-be in-laws.

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Bryan Cranston is the protective dad in Why Him? while James Franco plays the loaded Internet tycoon who’s dead set on marrying the wrong guy’s daughter, and Cranston’s not having any of it.

The new trailer shows James Franco out-James Franco-ing himself with a nightmare of a character. This dude has all the modesty of Franco’s role in The Interview plus zero filter when it comes to sharing intimate hot tub stories with his girlfriend’s family. Not even a back tattoo of the fam or a custom bowling alley for the father can win over a dad who really wants to bring the boyfriend down.

If nothing else, watch for the fake vintage L.L. Bean-style dad photos of Bryan Cranston.

Why Him? hits theaters Dec. 25, 2016. Watch the trailer above.

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Bryan Cranston will join James Franco in the 21 Laps and 20th Century Fox comedy “Why Him?”

John Hamburg is onboard to direct, and will co-write the script with Ian Helfer. Shawn Levy is producing under his 21 Laps banner, with Ben Stiller also attached to produce through his Red Hour Films shingle. Dan Levine, 21 Laps president, is overseeing the project along with Fox’s Jeremy Kramer.

The comedy is set over the holidays, when a Midwestern dad travels with his family to visit his daughter at college, and soon finds himself in a battle for her affections with her brash new tech billionaire boyfriend.

Franco and Cranston are already building chemistry on Franco’s next directing gig “In Dubious Battle,” in which the two co-star.

Cranston’s “Trumbo” hits theaters on Nov. 6 following its September premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. He is also lending his voice to DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 3.” He is repped by UTA.

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James Franco has become one of our most prolific actors/directors/writers/artists/deli meat purveyors (probably)—he is, in the parlance of the Full House theme song, everywhere you look. Not only is he starring in Hulu’s upcoming Stephen King miniseries 11/22/63, but he’ll also appear in the new comedy Why Him? from co-writer Nicholas Stoller and the director of I Love You, Man.

The Wrap reports that Franco is in negotiations to star in Why Him?, which centers on a father who decides to take his family on a trip to Stanford to visit his eldest daughter in college. That’s when he meets her new boyfriend, an internet billionaire, and the two become competitive over the young woman’s interests. Franco would play the internet billionaire because of course he would.

Why Him? was co-written by Ian Helfer and Nicholas Stoller, the latter of whom is best known for his screenplays for Get Him to the Greek and the recent Muppet movies. Director John Hamburg helmed I Love You, Man, a somewhat overlooked but incredibly hilarious film. He also directed the Ben Stiller–Jennifer Aniston comedy Along Came Polly (another underrated gem), as well as episodes of The New Girl and Stella.

Franco recently starred in the needlessly controversial film The Interview with Seth Rogen, and has several projects hitting theaters this year, including Sundance premieres I Am Michael and True Story, and the upcoming Werner Herzog film Queen of the Desert, opposite Nicole Kidman.

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