After Lawsuits And Misconduct Allegations, James Franco Has Started Lining Up New Acting Gigs

James Franco argues in the comedy Pineapple Express.
(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

James Franco has been making headlines more recently for actions outside of Hollywood than anything he’s done on the screen, including being connected to the ongoing legal battles of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, but the Disaster Artist actor appears to be putting that behind him as he has just picked up yet another new acting role after a period of inactivity.

James Franco’s last movie roles came in 2019. He appeared in the movie Zeroville, his directorial follow up to The Disaster Artist, and lent his voice to the animated feature Arctic Dogs. Since then, however, we haven’t seen much of Franco, at least in part because of a series of allegations against the actor, dating back to 2018, regarding alleged misconduct which have caused the former Oscar nominee to keep a low profile.

Now James Franco has had his name attached to a new movie role for the second time in as many months. A few weeks ago it was reported that Franco would be part of the cast of the coming-of-age drama Me, You, and now Deadline reports Franco will be playing Fidel Castro in the movie Alina of Cuba.

James Franco’s personal life has been much more in the headlines in recent years than his professional career. Franco was accused of sexual misconduct with students from his acting school. While now criminal charges were ever filed there were lawsuits filed against the actor that were settled out of court last year, with Franco’s side paying out a little over $2 million. The situation was bad enough that Seth Rogen, formerly a frequent collaborator, distanced himself from Franco. While the two have worked together often, it appears they no longer have any sort of working relationship.

James Franco did eventually admit to sleeping with students in his acting school. He says he has been through treatment for sex addiction. He spoke out in an interview at the end of 2021, in part because he wanted to take the pressure off others, like Rogen, who had found themselves the only ones talking about the allegations and the aftermath. 

In addition to the couple of roles that James Franco has recently picked up, he has other movies waiting in the wings. Two films Franco has already made, The Long Home, which Franco also directed, and Kill the Czar, are reportedly completed but have yet to be given release plans. He also has a third movie, Mace in pre-production.

It’s certainly not uncommon for actors who have been through legal battles and misconduct scandals to try and make a professional comeback, The big question will likely be how receptive the audience is to that comeback. If and when James Franco ends up back on the screen, will the audience be willing to welcome him back?

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.