While James Franco has had ups and downs over his career, there’s no denying he’s one of the most prolific artists working in Hollywood. Over the last few years, he’s directed, written, produced and starred in a countless number of projects. And if Franco’s work schedule wasn’t busy enough, he’s currently involved in 19 projects as an actor and 11 as a director. This includes his upcoming film, The Masterpiece, a comedic look behind-the-scenes of Tommy Wiseau’s disastrous 2003 drama, The Room.
For anyone unfamiliar with The Room, the 2003 romantic drama was universally panned and is still considered to be one of the worst movies ever made. It focuses on a love triangle among affable banker Johnny, his fiancée Lisa, and his best friend Mark. But the film often diverted from the main storyline into pointless subplots with unrelated characters, all of which featured incredibly poor acting, directing, editing, and everything in between. Nevertheless, its notorious reputation allowed it to gain major cult status.
In a recent interview with South China Morning Post, Franco revealed that Bryan Cranston, his co-star in Why Him?, is set to appear in The Masterpiece. If that wasn’t exciting enough, Cranston will, in fact, be playing himself. The actor will not be alone in this endeavor, as Zack Braff (Scrubs) is reportedly also joining the cast as himself.
“It took eight months for [Why Him?] to go ahead and I asked Bryan to play Sheriff in In Dubious Battle, and then I directed The Masterpiece and he did that too. I asked if he would play himself, and he actually plays a version of himself from the early 2000s, so it’s Bryan Cranston from Malcolm in the Middle. It just speaks to his love of cinema that he supports his fellow artists.”
While Bryan Cranston may never top his Emmy-winning performance as Walter White in AMC’s Breaking Bad, the actor has nevertheless starred in a number of interesting roles since. Even so, Franco feels like Cranston hasn’t been able to fully showcase his range, particularly as a comedian, for quite some time.
“After Breaking Bad, I think people had forgotten how Bryan is this great comedic actor – as that’s what he did for years and years. When we were filming Why Him?, Bryan said to me, ‘This is the most fun I’ve had in a decade.’ So I found him to be a strong comedic and improvisational partner like Seth, in his own way. He could fly with anything.”
The Masterpiece has built up a pretty phenomenal cast. Along with Franco, Braff, and now Cranston, the cast includes Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver, Hannibal Buress, Andrew Santino, Zac Efron, Alison Brie, and Sharon Stone. It will be interesting to see just how all of these stars are used. There have not been many details released about The Masterpiece, so it’s impossible to say what it’s focus will be.
Adding another A-list star like Cranston to the cast makes The Masterpiece look like it could turn into something pretty special. What remains to be seen, is if Franco’s busy work schedule will effect the film. Many of the actor’s directorial works have been a little underwhelming, and it’s possible that The Masterpiece could have the same fate. Still, the film’s premise may entice fans of The Room to check it out.
The Masterpiece is scheduled to open sometime in 2017. We will keep you updated as the project develops.
Source: South China Morning Post