Sunday, April 21, 2024

James Franco Will Make “Dubious” Movie Based on John Steinbeck Novel


James Franco is going to direct an all star cast in a feature film based on John Steinbeck’s “In Dubious Battle.” This might be called a dubious move since Franco’s previous directing attempts based on novels by William Faulkner’s and Cormac McCarthy’s works haven’t turned out so great.

Indeed, Franco’s take on Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury” still hasn’t been released. His version of “As I Lay Dying” managed a meager 41% on RottenTomatoes and was barely released. It made just under $17,000. His “Child of God” (McCarthy) garnered a 38% and made $38,400.

“In Dubious Battle” will star Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston and Danny McBride. Really? Selena Gomez? Danny McBride? Until Franco can get real about casting, these things are not going to work. I love Selena Gomez’s pop songs, but seeing her in a John Steinbeck movie is not plausible.

Franco is very enthusiastic about film, which is always appreciated. But you can almost anticipate the tedious screenings at film festivals, and so on.

The producers include Franco’s producing partner Vince Jolivette, Andrea Iervolino (“The Humbling,” “All Roads Lead to Rome”), Scott Reed,  Ron Singer, Iris Torres, and someone named Lady Monika Bacardi. The latter is for the fizz. Gucci had been backing a lot of Franco projects, but it’s possible that since they’ve changed creative directors, that may be over.

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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