Originally published in September 2005, The Game was written by investigative reporter Neil Strauss based on his personal experiences with the seduction community of pick-up artists (including his enigmatic mentor named Mystery). The book enjoyed considerable acclaim upon initial release under the full title of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, and remained on the top of the New York Times Bestseller List for two months after publication. The book subsequently saw another resurgence in popularity in 2007 after the VH1 TV show The Pickup Artist aired.
Bound in black leather and bookmarked with red satin in a fashion similar to the Holy Bible, Strauss’ autobiographical expose of the the art of seduction has been the center of certain attention over the course of the book’s eleven years in print. Picking up on its storied legacy, a feature film version of The Game is officially slated for pre-production – with one Hollywood actor already attached in a lead role.
According to Deadline, actor James Franco and producing partner Demian Gregory have just signed an exclusive deal with one another to produce four feature films with individual budgets between $15-20 million, including their first film, The Game. Franco is set to star as Strauss’ real life pickup artist mentor Mystery, with Gregory in charge of financing the film through Aristocracy Group and Composite Media Capital (in addition to Franco’s own Rabbit Bandini Productions). The film is being fast-tracked to begin shooting in 2017, with a supporting cast and director currently being sought. Speaking to his own process in writing the book upon which Franco and Gregory will base the new film, Strauss stated:
“Nearly every person I meet has a strong opinion on The Game, whether they’ve read it or not. For some, it changed their lives and led to marriage and children. For others, it is one of the most terrifying things to ever happen to the dating world. For me, it is both, but I’m forever grateful for my time in the underground world of pick-up artists because it showed me that a guy who had given up all hope of ever being comfortable with himself and others could change.”
Whether or not potential moviegoers will be eager to see an entire film based on Strauss’ book – detailing his experiences in the world of the seduction community of pick-up artists – remains to be seen. That being said, it’s hard to deny that Franco has never been one to sign on to a project that isn’t interesting (to say the very least), making his inclusion in the production of The Game something to watch closely as pre-production continues.
There will likely be moviegoers unfamiliar with Strauss’ original work of non-fiction when The Game finally sees theatrical release, but with any luck Franco will manage to sell what sounds like a fairly complicated social drama with charisma and finesse. The original book might be a bes- seller, but the upcoming movie has a ways to go before it can be approached as a substantial box office draw.
Screen Rant will bring you more information on The Game as it becomes available.