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”).
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.
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 is coming on board “Alien: Covenant,” the sequel to Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus.”
He joins Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, and Guy Pearce — who are reprising their roles from “Prometheus” — along with newcomers Katherine Waterston, Demian Bichir, Billy Crudup, and Danny McBride. 20th Century Fox had no comment.
Scott is directing from a script by Jack Paglen, Michael Green, and John Logan. The film follows the colony ship Covenant as it heads toward a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy. Crew members discover what they believe to be an uncharted paradise, which turns out to be a dark, menacing world in which the only inhabitant is the synthetic David (Fassbender), a survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.
The film is the sixth in Scott’s “Alien” franchise and arrives in theaters on May 19, 2017. Fox originally planned to release the movie in August, but decided several months ago to move it forward three months.
“Prometheus” was set in the late 21st Century and about 30 years before the events in Scott’s 1979 movie “Alien.” “Prometheus,” which generated $403.3 million at the worldwide box office, followed scientists aboard the spaceship Prometheus who discovered the remains of an advanced civilization developing weapons that could wipe out the human race.
The original “Alien,” starring Sigourney Weaver, was followed by three sequels in 1986, 1992, and 1997.
Franco is currently starring in Fox’s “Why Him?” opposite Bryan Cranston. The comedy opens this Friday.
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.
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.
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.