A24 has unveiled the first trailer for James Franco’s directorial effort The Disaster Artist, which chronicles the making of the iconic cult classic The Room. In the film, Franco plays Tommy Wiseau, the man largely responsible for giving the world what has been referred to as the “Citizen Kane of bad movies.” Originally released in 2003, The Room was widely panned by critics due to its bizarre storytelling and poor technical aspects – but those same attributes earned it a sizable following on the midnight circuit in the years since. Moviegoers now enjoy watching The Room with a crowd in a theater, with screenings featuring such traditions as throwing spoons and footballs at the screen, as well as openly mocking the movie’s quality.
The Room is a work of art so baffling, some wonder how it was made in the first place. The book The Disaster Artist (written by Wiseau’s co-star Greg Sestero) looked to examine that very question. Truth can be stranger than fiction at times, meaning the story behind The Room had the potential for a big screen treatment. After The Disaster Artist earned very positive reviews following its premiere at this year’s SXSW festival, viewers around the world finally have an opportunity to see what Franco has in store with the release of the first trailer. You can watch it in the space above.
The short teaser (running about 90 seconds) depicts the filming of the infamous “Oh hi, Mark” scene. Wiseau is having difficulties remembering his lines, ruining take after take, frustrating the likes of script supervisor Sandy Schklair (Seth Rogen), co-star Sestero (Dave Franco), and his other collaborators. Though the rest of The Room‘s cast and crew are annoyed by Tommy’s ineptitude, they remain supportive of him. After more than 60 takes, Wiseau finally delivers the monologue where his character Johnny claims he did “naht” hit his girlfriend Lisa, causing a small celebration to break out on set. It’s more of relief than jubilation, and though Wiseau’s delivery is hardly Oscar-worthy, it’s good enough for The Room so everyone can finally move on to the next scene.
Fans get a chance to see Franco’s interpretation of Wiseau, and it’s safe to say the actor is committed to the part, conveying Wiseau’s mannerisms and speaking patterns very well. As stated above, The Disaster Artist received acclaim after screening at SXSW, and some people are wondering if it is a possible Oscar contender this year. The Academy has shown a liking for movies about movies, and A24 is coming off of a huge win last year with Moonlight. They’re certainly ones to watch on the awards circuit, and if the film can keep up its early momentum by the time it reaches theaters in December, it could very well be nominated in a few categories – which would only be fitting given the source material. Time will tell, but it looks like one of the worst movies ever made spawned one of the strongest efforts of 2017.
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