James Franco is set to star in a new movie adapted from John Steinbeck’s novel In Dubious Battle. Oh yah, he’s going to direct it too.
The son of the daughter of a Russian-Jewish family, Franco already has 26 directing credits under his belt that include features, shorts and documentaries, three of which are due out later this year. But he is obviously best known for his acting roles.
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It is no surprise that the actor is so interested in adapting classic American novels for the big screen. After all, Franco is working on a PhD in English literature at Yale.
The actor/director previously played famous Jewish poet and American poet laureate Allen Ginsburg in the 2010 film “Howl.” He also directed and starred in last year’s “The Sound and the Fury” based on the William Faulkner novel.
“In Dubious Battle” will co-star Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston and Danny McBride. It is being financed by AMBI Group.
“I am very inspired by James’ work and cannot wait to collaborate with him on this project with these remarkable artists, ” said AMBI’s Andrea Iervolino to Variety. “This film will be stunning portrait of strife and violence, and bringing it to life with such a remarkably talented cast fortifies our belief that we are creating a classic.”
A press release states “Published in 1936, In Dubious Battle is considered the first major work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. Set in a fictionalized valley in California, the story explores themes Steinbeck continued to develop: group behavior, social injustice, man’s inhumanity to man— all themes which continue to be relevant today. A labor conflict between migrant apple pickers and the local growers’ association is the backdrop against which Jim Nolan (Franco) becomes involved in the labor movement and rapidly matures as he learns what it means to do organizational fieldwork.”