James Franco, the star, director and producer of The Disaster Artist has revealed that Tommy Wiseau has seen the film and has given him direct feedback. The maker of the infamously bad melodrama The Room met with Franco after the work-in-progress film screened at SXSW and gave him his honest opinion. Fortunately, it was almost 100% positive – apart from one tiny thing.
Wiseau’s The Room was made in 2003 and has since gone down in cult movie history, being proclaimed by some as “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”. The combination of bad acting and dialogue, along with a smorgasbord of melodramatic plot developments, made it into a surprise success with interactive screenings still selling out to this day. The Disaster Artist (originally called The Masterpiece) is very much a personal project for Franco. It’s based on the best-selling book of the same name from Greg Sestero, who was one of the original cast from The Room, and focuses on the difficulties and weird experiences that happened behind the scenes of the film, along with his unlikely friendship with Wiseau.
Since the The Disaster Artist screened at SXSW, Franco has been keen to get Wiseau’s opinion on the movie, especially as he had previously indicated that the Sestero book was “only 40 percent true”. Talking to EW, he explained what happened once the two directors finally got an opportunity to sit down and talk about the film:
I was like, ‘So, Tommy, what did you think of the movie?’ And he said, ‘I approve 99.9 percent.’ And we were like, ‘What was the 0.1 percent? He said, ‘I think the lighting, in the beginning, a little off.’ [Laughs] I told Brandon [Trost, The Disaster Artist’s cinematographer]. He was like, Yeah, maybe we should watch The Room, get some lighting pointers!’
So Wiseau has apparently given the film a nearly unreserved thumbs-up, apart from the small matter of “bad” lighting at the start. It’s another vote of confidence for the film, which has had positive critical feedback so far and a current fresh rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes (which is amusingly close to Wiseau’s mark). In fact, Franco likened the SXSW showing as being one of “the two greatest screenings of my life”, with the other one being Spring Breakers.
Franco himself is playing Wiseau, as brilliantly seen in the teaser trailer – showing him reprise the most memorable line from The Room to hilarious effect, with it even inspiring a kids react video. The rest of the cast also includes some very big names, such as; Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor, Zac Efron, Alison Brie, and Sharon Stone. With The Disaster Artist currently due for release in December, we’ll bring you any more news about the film as it becomes available.
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