Home Movies James Franco’s “Broken Tower” to Toronto, Plus “Idaho” Projects

I’ve confirmed that James Franco’s film, “The Broken Tower,” has been officially sold to Focus Features and will be shown at the Toronto Film Festival. But that’s not all for Franco, who has just now–not earlier–agreed to appear again on “General Hospital” this fall.

But there’s more: Franco will also bring two other projects to the Toronto Film Festival next month: a 1 hour film called “Idaho” which Franco shot on 8mm and based on van Sant’s “very early” draft of “My Own Private Idaho,” which is one of Franco’s favorite films. The Oscar nominee is also bringing his “My Own Private River” project to Toronto, which he showed in Los Angeles during Oscar week. That’s also concerning “My Own Private Idaho.”

Meantime, Franco’s Sal Mineo film, called “Sal,” concerning the last day of the legendary actor’s life, will play in the Venice Film Festival.

“The Broken Tower” stars Franco as poet Hart Crane and features a shocking moment of rather graphic oral sex performed by Crane. Mom Betsy Franco, an accomplished children’s book author, plays Crane’s mother. Franco’s brother Dave is also featured. The movie is very indie, brave, and well done. Made for no money, it looks great.

Franco plays both the indie world and studio biz very well. His “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” did over $19 mil on Friday night, got great reviews, and looks like a winner. His indie film about Sal Mineo, called “Sal,” will go to Venice and Toronto for screenings. It was shot in nine days.

Franco may next direct his adaptation of Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.”  He’s currently shooting “Oz, the Great and Powerful” in Detroit for the next few months. The “General Hospital” gig will be done over a couple of days and used throughout the next storyline.

Author
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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