In 1979, Stephen King published The Dead Zone, sci-fi thriller about a man who emerges from a long coma with the sudden power of clairvoyance. Since then, the classic novel has been turned into a 1983 film starring Christopher Walken and 2002 television series.
Now, for the very first time, The Dead Zone will also be available to King fans as an audiobook. What’s more, it’s being narrated by James Franco.
“He’s one of the most pleasurable authors to read or listen to,” Franco told Entertainment Weekly of the legendary author. “He just guides you along so well. Even though we’re from different generations all his influences and things he references and subjects he’s interested in seem to be all the things I’m interested in.”
King, too, is excited about the forthcoming project and Franco’s casting, saying, “I knew that he would perfectly capture the vibe and voice of The Dead Zone.” The Oscar-nominated actor is no stranger to King’s work, as he appeared in 11.22.63, a 2016 limited series based on King’s time traveling book of the same name.
The Dead Zone audiobook will be available come April 25th via Simon and Schuster Audio. In the meantime, subscribe to The Losers’ Club, our Stephen King podcast, for updates and a bi-monthly dissection into King’s body of work.
The James Franco, directed and produced period piece The Institute, which which he also stars, will be released on March 3 by Momentum Pictures both theatrically and on VOD. The film marks the third collaboration between co-directors Franco and Pamela Romanowsky.
Set in 19th century Baltimore, thee film tells the story of Isabel Porter (Allie Gallerani) who, stricken with grief from her parents’ untimely death, voluntarily checks herself into the Rosewood Institute. Subjected to bizarre and increasingly violent pseudo-scientific experiments in personality modification, brainwashing and mind control, she must escape the clutches of the Rosewood and exact her revenge.
Besides Franco, the film is produced by Vince Jolivette, Jay Davis, Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman, and Scott Reed, the film is a production of Rabbit Bandini Productions.
In addition to Gallerani and Franco, the film stars Joe Pease, Scott Haze, Lori Singer, Tim Blake Nelson, Josh Duhamel and Melissa Bolona. Franco previously starred in the Pamela Romanowsky-helmed The Adderall Diaries as well as a short film directed by her entitled Tar.
Franco is represented by UTA and Anonymous Content; Romanowsky is represented by WME; Gallerani is represented by Authentic Talent and Literary Management; Pease is represented by Tilmar Talent Agency; Haze is represented by ICM Partners; Singer is represented by Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein; Nelson is represented by UTA; Duhamel is represented by ICM Partners; Bolona is repped by APA and Atlas Artists. Whew!
James Franco has returned with season 3 of “Making a Scene” and the Emmy-nominated spoof series has found a new home on the forthcoming video service from French startup Blackpills, after AOL carried the first two seasons.
The first two seasons of “Making a Scene with James Franco,” which he directs and stars in, featured mashups of movies (season 1) and TV shows (season 2). For the latest installment, Franco and team decided to create episodes spanning films, music and television. The focus of each episode in season 3 will be randomly determined by a dart board and a spinning wheel, which is one of the show’s trademark elements.
The 10-episode third season includes “Anaconda Scissorhands” (pictured above), a parody fusion of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” and “Edward Scissorhands”; “Famous Potter,” a mashup of Kanye West’s “Famous” with the Harry Potter series; and “Poker Things,” which melds Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” with Netflix original series “Stranger Things.”
“Making a Scene with James Franco” is slated to debut in April on Blackpills, the yet-to-launch video service founded by Deezer cofounder Daniel Marhely and ex-Canal Plus exec Patrick Holzman. Other productions Blackpills has acquired or commissioned include Adaptive Studios’ short-form thriller “Pineapple” and projects from social-media influencer Logan Paul and filmmaker Luc Besson.
Season 3 of the series was produced by INE Entertainment and Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Prods.
“Since we were kids, music videos have been such a big part of pop culture for us,” Vince Jolivette, co-founder of Rabbit Bandini, said in statement. “So it seemed natural for us to take what we’ve been doing with our favorite movies and television shows and apply that same creative madness to some of our favorite, iconic music videos.”
Actors and social-media celebs guest starring in this season include Josh Peck, Juno Temple, Liza Koshy, Brandon Rogers, Toby Turner, Brittany Furlan, Kian Lawley and Lia-Marie Johnson. Shooting on season 3 of “Making a Scene with James Franco” began Dec. 19 in L.A. and wrapped this week.
“Making a Scene with James Franco” was packaged by CAA. Franco is currently repped by UTA.
Season 2 earned a 2016 Emmy Award nomination in the outstanding short-form variety series category. The show is executive produced by Franco, Jolivette and Jay Davis for Rabbit Bandini and Eric Day, Mark Koops and Jennifer Heftler for INE Entertainment.
Lifetime has unveiled its latest slate of original movies, and they include not only the return of James Franco but the debut of Viola Davis.
“High School lover,” executive produced by James Franco, stars Franco as the father of a high school student (Paulina Singer) who falls in love with a much older man (François Arnaud). Papa Franco must intervene before the crush turns into a dangerous obsession. Jerell Rosales directs from a script written by Amber Coney (“Mother May I Sleep With Danger?”) and Jessica Dube. “High School Lover” will premiere Feb. 4.
“Britney Ever After,” starring Natasha Bassett as Britney Spears, will cover the pop star’s rise and fall and rise again. It is produced by Asylum Entertainment for Lifetime. Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch and Joan Harrison are executive producers. Leslie Libman (“Manson’s Lost Girls”) directs from a script from Anne-Marie Hess. “Britney Ever After” will debut Feb. 18.
“Custody,” executive produced by Viola Davis and starring Davis, Hayden Panettiere, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ellen Burstyn, and Tony Shaloub, premieres Mar. 4. The story revolves around three women who are brought together when a hard-working single mother (Moreno) has her children taken away from her. Panettiere plays the recent law school grad charged with representing the mother, while Davis plays the judge on the case.
“Custody” is written and directed by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner James Lapine (Into the Woods). Lauren Versel, Katie Mustard, Lapine and Roy Furman serve as producers. Davis, Julius Tennon, Jeff Elliott, Chad Moore, Gregory P. Shockro, Daryl Roth and Sandy Robertson also executive produce.
Biopic “Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland” will begin shooting in February, starring Michael Jackson tribute artist Navi. Based on the book “Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days,” the film also stars Chad L. Coleman as Jackson’s bodyguard. The film is produced by Silver Screen. Dianne Houston is directing from a script written by Elizabeth Hunter (“Beauty Shop”).
Never one to shy away from controversy, James Franco takes on the ex-gay movement in his next release. Directed by Justin Kelly, I Am Michael recounts the true story of Michael Glatze, a prominent gay activist who made headlines when he suddenly announced that he was renouncing his homosexuality, and went on to marry a woman and become a fundamentalist pastor.
James Franco dropped a small nugget in an interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show while talking about his persistent bachelorhood. “My brothers are both in very serious relationships,” Franco reminded the audience. “Davie, the youngest, is engaged, and is going to get married early next year, and Tom’s in a serious relationship.” Next year, as Patty in the break room keeps reminding you by saying “see you next year!” every time she leaves the office, is very soon indeed.
The star of ‘Why Him’ worked on over 60 projects in 2016, and admits to Stephen that he may a problem.
Written and directed by Justin Kelly, the film tells the true story of a gay activist who became a straight Christian pastor.
Brainstorm Media, the Beverly Hills-based indie distributor, has acquired writer-director Justin Kelly’s I Am Michael, starring James Franco, Zachary Quinto and Emma Roberts, which it will open theatrically Jan. 27 in 10 markets along with a day-and-date VOD release.
Based on a New York Times magazine article by Benoit Denizet-Lewis, the film, which debuted at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, tells the true story of Michael Glatze, played by Franco, who was a high-profile gay youth activist who provoked controversy when he became a straight Christian pastor and claimed he was no longer gay. Quinto plays Glatze’s boyfriend, while Roberts plays the woman who becomes his girlfriend
“I Am Michael is an incredibly original film on a very important topic: identity. As we move into a new presidency where sexual orientation might once again be called into question, a film that examines this from such an unusual perspective is invaluable. I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Franco, who also collaborated with Kelly on the recently released King Cobra.
The film was executive produced by Gus Van Sant and produced by Franco and Vince Jolivette of production company Rabbit Bandini, Michael Mendelsohn of Patriot Pictures, and Scott Reed and Ron Singer of That’s Hollywood. The picture was financed by Mendelsohn’s Union Patriot Capital Management, LLC.
The deal was negotiated by Brian O’Shea of The Exchange, Michelle Shwarzstein for Brainstorm Media and Mendelsohn. DADA Films will handle theatrical booking and Required Viewing will handle PR on behalf of Brainstorm.
James Franco has a new agency home. The busy multihyphenate and Oscar-nominated actor has signed with UTA.His longtime rep Kami Putnam-Heist left CAA last month for a manager role at Anonymous Content, putting Franco into play. WME and UTA had been vying for his services, and the latter won out. He’ll be repped by a team of agents at UTA, while Putnam-Heist continues to manage him.
The prolific actor-director-writer-producer-author has worked on slew of projects in various capacities during the past decade. Since scoring a Best Actor Oscar nom for playing a trapped mountain climber in 2010’s 127 Hours, Franco has branched into filmmaking while continuing to rack up acting credits. His recent onscreen roles have ranged from Child of God, which he also wrote and directed, to In Dubious Battle, which he helmed. Along the way he also has starred in such pics as The Interview, This Is the End and Oz the Great and Powerful. Among his many acting projects in the pipeline are Why Him?, which opens next month, and Kin, also starring Jack Reynor, Zoe Kravitz and Dennis Quaid, which Lionsgate pre-bought ahead of Toronto.
On the TV side, Franco appeared in Hulu’s 11.22.63, recurred on TBS’ Angie Tribeca and stars in HBO’s upcoming NYC-set period drama The Deuce.
Deadline reported exclusively in September that Franco is teaming with Damian Gregory to produce a quartet of features in the $15 million-$20 million budget range, starting with The Game, an adaptation of the nonfiction book about how to become a successful pick-up artist.