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James Franco's The Disaster Artist made its debut on the fall film festival circuit a few weeks back, impressing critics and entertaining audiences with its deft recreation of Tommy Wiseau's The Room -- largely considered to be one of the worst movies ever made. But The Room, which plays Midnight repertories and encourages passionate reactions from its rabid fanbase, has a very distinct look... one that's very, very bad. Because Franco was meticulous in telling the story of how Tommy and his best friend, Greg Sestero, created The Room, he and his collaborators -- Seth Rogen and brother Dave Franco -- went to great lengths to match The Room at every step. Dave Franco recently opened up to CinemaBlend, explaining:
We didn't recreate the entire movie, but we did recreate probably half of the movie frame for frame, movement for movement. We were extremely meticulous about making sure every single thing was exactly the same as it was in The Room, where our DP was lighting it in such a shitty way to just have the exact lighting that The Room had. As actors, we were huddled around an iPad watching scenes from The Room right before we would recreate them, and like making sure our head was tilted at the exact right angle and making sure that we were... I don't know, but you get what I'm saying. I think we recreated about half of the movie, which will be a great DVD extra. ... There's a great side-by-side at the end of our movie where we include a handful of those scenes.
The Disaster Artist plays really well for people who are intimately familiar with the meme-worthy awfulness that is The Room. Even the first full trailer for James Franco's The Disaster Artist was basically just a recreation of Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) filming an infamous scene on a recreation of his rooftop. It's the "Oh, hai Mark" line that you all know so very well.
But because James and Dave Franco knew that there's a large chunk of the audience coming to The Disaster Room with knowledge of The Room, this meant that had to treat their recreations of The Room as seriously as possible, or it would take people out of their movie. There was speculation following screenings of The Disaster Artist that James Franco might have actually filmed an entire recreation of The Room, but now Dave confirms that they basically only recreated half of it, and some of those scenes we will see side by side with footage from Tommy Wiseau's film.
The Disaster Artist picked up incredible buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is coming to theaters on December 1, from A24. Could it have Oscar aspirations? We will know soon enough.