James Franco To Play 'The Room' Writer-Director Tommy Wiseau In The Disaster Artist

By Gabe Toro 2014-05-08 13:40:45discussion comments
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James Franco To Play 'The Room' Writer-Director Tommy Wiseau In The Disaster Artist image
There are two types of people in this world: those who haven't seen The Room, and those that have truly lived. Tommy Wiseau's counterculture classic has inspired legions of filmmakers and screenwriters in learning what not to do, and how aggressively to not do it. One of those was Greg Sestero, co-star of The Room and co-author of The Disaster Artist, a book about the making of the legendary great/bad movie. Also among those legions? James Franco, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who are adapting The Disaster Artist to the screen with Franco directing. In fact, James Franco is so motivated that he's going to do a very James Franco thing. He's going to play Tommy Wiseau.

Seth Rogen was on the Opie And Anthony show (via That Lit Site) discussing Neighbors when talk turned to the gestating adaptation of The Disaster Artist. It was then when Rogen dropped the bombshell that none other than performance artist extraordinaire James Franco would be bringing his ironic layers of stardom to the role of Tommy Wiseau, living question mark. No other details are known about the project, though Franco as Wiseau gives our first implication that this is going to be the ultimate visit to The Room none of us knew we even wanted.

If you haven't seen The Room or its accompanying multimedia material, the fact is, like the Matrix, no one can be told what Tommy Wiseau is. You must see for yourself. To recount his shady-sounding story of how he raised the money for The Room is pointless: he is an enigma, appearing out of thin air to debut his magnum opus in Los Angeles in the early aughts, buying out entire theaters and, slowly, building a reputation for the movie (which he writes, directs and stars in) that led to midnight screenings nationwide and a bizarre counter-cultural reputation as a fool, a genius, or... well, probably a fool. To this day, there remains theories that Wiseau is a performance artist akin to Andy Kaufman, never once letting the facade drop on his grand public performance as a weirdly-pumped madman with a completely obscure, hard-to-place accent.

James Franco's directing career is varied, but so far leans towards the serious, with material like Before I Lay Dying and the documentary Interior. Leather Bar among his efforts. Re-teaming with buddies Seth Rogen (Freaks And Geeks) and Evan Goldberg (co-writer on Pineapple Express) could allow his funny-bone to emerge. The three are currently working on The Interview, which Rogen and Goldberg are directing and which stars Franco and Rogen. But there's reason to believe The Disaster Artist might also be something of a Heart Of Darkness-style dive into the abyss. Franco, who has previously stated that his brother Dave would co-star (as Sestero?), has compared the material to both Boogie Nights and The Master, suggesting that this could be more of a black comedy, one that looks down the barrel of irrelevance only to find that it peers back, ever so uncomfortably. Of course, can Franco really nail the cadence of Wiseau's sing-song delivery? Can Franco deliver lines like "YOU ARE TEARING ME APAHT LISA"? The hope is we'll know more soon about James Franco's The Disaster Artist, a prank-sounding movie based on a movie that might be a prank.
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