He’s just received an Oscar nod for playing an intrepid wilderness lover in 127 Hours, and now James Franco could be playing another real-life character on the big screen – infamous “adult entertainment” filmmaker Chuck Traynor in Lovelace, an adaptation of the novel titled The Complete Linda Lovelace.
Franco’s Howl directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman already have Kate Hudson onboard to star in Lovelace as Traynor’s wife, Linda Boreman – a woman whose life was inalterably changed after she appeared in her husband’s 1972 X-Rated blockbuster, Deep Throat.
Deadline says that Epstein and Friedman have been attempting to get their Linda Lovelace pic off the ground since Howl – which starred Franco as beat poet Allen Ginsberg – premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. It will be difficult for the filmmakers to reunite with the increasingly-busy Franco, who is starring in this summer’s Rise of the Apes; will join Nicole Kidman in the Broadway production Sweet Bird this fall; and aspires to helm adaptations of two literary masterpieces sometime in the near future as well.
Lovelace isn’t the only biopic in the works about the titular actress, who essentially suffered a public meltdown in the wake of the controversy about her appearance in Deep Throat – which eventually led her to divorce Traynor and accuse him of coercing her into committing acts of prostitution onscreen. Malin Akerman (a.k.a. Silk Spectre II in Watchmen) will offer her own version of Lovelace in the Black Listed Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story from writer/director Matthew Wilder.
Epstein and Friedman are no strangers to tackling taboo or controversial material, having addressed the subject of Hollywood’s historical portrayal of homosexuality in the acclaimed documentary The Celluloid Closet and examined the life of San Francisco’s first openly gay elected official in their Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk. The life of Miss Lovelace is a horse of a different color, though, one riddled with scandals and of course the adult entertainment industry. Still, hers was a fascinating existence that could make for quite the engaging cinematic biopic, regardless of who stars in it.
Neither Inferno nor Lovelace have managed to secure proper funding or studio backing at this point, which means that it could be a while before filming on either dramatization gets underway. It’s entirely possible that by the time Epstein and Friedman are ready to roll with their project, Franco’s schedule might not be quite so full.
We’ll keep you updated on the development of Lovelace as more information is released.