The Disaster Artist, James Franco’s film on the making of Tommy Wiseau’s infamous bad movie The Room, now has its very own marketing campaign inspired by the original movie’s somewhat infamous Hollywood billboard. Franco both directed and stars in The Disaster Artist, which charts the bizarre creation of one of the worst movies ever made. Dave Franco, Alison Brie, Kristen Bell, Josh Hutcherson, Zoey Deutch, Zac Efron, Megan Mulally, Adam Scott, Bryan Cranston, and Kate Upton all appear in the New Line Cinema film.
The mysterious would-be auteur Tommy Wiseau, a singular personality, released his “masterpiece” The Room in 2003. With an incomprehensible plot, bizarre direction and a strange lead performance by Wiseau, The Room has become one of pop culture’s most “celebrated” examples of so-bad-its-good filmmaking. In order to market his film to the masses, Wiseau spent a reported $300,000 to maintain a billboard on Hollywood’s Highland Avenue displaying an image of his own face alongside a web address and an “RSVP” phone number that when called took fans to a voicemail message featuring Wiseau himself inviting them to schedule a screening of the film. For five years the billboard stared down on baffled motorists, while the movie itself ascended to cult status.
With Franco’s The Disaster Artist set to come out in December, recreations of that original Room billboard with Franco’s face in place of Wiseau’s are beginning to pop up. An Instagram account purportedly connected to Wiseau himself posted an image of a Disaster Artist billboard that almost perfectly mimics the design of the original:
The new billboard features a different phone number that when called brings fans to a voicemail message with Franco as Wiseau telling people he’s too busy take their call. When it comes to channeling Tommy Wiseau, the actor is nothing if not thorough.
In a move that can only be described as the most James Franco thing ever, The Disaster Artist was reportedly directed by Franco in character as Wiseau. According to the actor, staying in character as Wiseau the whole time just made things easier on him and less confusing for his cast and crew. So far, The Disaster Artist has won raves during its spin through various film festivals and now Franco is being mentioned as a possible Best Actor Oscar nominee. And yes, Wiseau himself has officially endorsed The Disaster Aritst, saying he 99.9 percent approves of Franco’s take on his life and limited but noteworthy filmmaking career.
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