Thursday, June 13, 2024

James Franco In the Re-Born “Bourne” Mix?


Hmmm…Is director Tony Gilroy thinking of James Franco for the newly reborn “Bourne” movie he’s directing (and co-writing with brother Dan Gilroy)?

Tony, director of “Michael Clayton” and “Duplicity,” was being cagey last night at the premiere of Danny Boyle’s amazing and wonderful “127 Hours,” in which Franco gives a certain to be Oscar nominated performance. Gilroy–who said he loved “The King’s Speech,” which he’s recently seen– was thrilled to meet both Franco and Boyle. But when pressed about who might play Jason Bourne now that Matt Damon (and director Paul Greengrass) are out, Gilroy buttoned up fast.

“I can’t give away all my secrets!” he declared. Still, seeing Franco in “127 Hours” seemed to be his goal, and he was pretty impressed.

This much we know about the new “Bourne” movie: it is not a “Star Trek” type affair going back to the spy’s roots. It moves forward in time from the last Damon installment.

As for “127 Hours:” it’s filmmaking at its best, and quite a stunning achievement. A. R. Rahman‘s music reminded me a little of Eminem, and there’s a funny moment when the great novelty single “Ca Plane Pour Moi” is resurrected. Everything about “127 Hours” is cool on the surface and hot inside. Simon Beaufoy‘s beautifully wrought script has little dialogue. Franco magnificently conveys the real life saga of Aron Ralston. Even though there are several characters, “127 Hours” is essentially a one man show. This is a must see film when it opens on Friday.

At the premiere party at The Bunker–which Gucci threw, in the meatpacking district–it was quite a mix. Besides Gilroy and the movie’s actual principals, there was Franco’s grandmother, uncle, and cousin. They’re in town because their highly respected Cleveland, Ohio Verne Art Gallery is part of the IFPDA Print Fair opening tonight at the 67th St. Armory. There was also Matthew Settle, from “Gossip Girl,” super model and actress (and adorable) Agyness Deyn, and Klaus Biesenbach, the curator at large of the Museum of Modern Art.

Also: two of my favorite young actors who lit up “As the World Turns” the last couple of years before it ended its run: Ewa da Cruz and Billy Magnussen. Both of these kids should be doing big things in film soon!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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