OK, we are officially stoked for this film. Variety reports that Michelle Williams will play Glinda, The Good Witch in Sam Raimi‘s Oz, The Great And Powerful, which already has James Franco, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz signed up to play the other leads. While no dates have been announced, Disney reportedly hopes to have production underway by the end of the year. And as big fans of Raimi (Drag Me To Hell!!) and the cast (did you see Franco and Kunis in Date Night? Or theirHills parody?), we hope so too.
The plot has Franco playing a crafty illusionist who escapes a traveling circus in a hot air balloon (loving it already). The fugitive faux-magician accidentally winds up in the witch-ruled Oz, where good ol’ Glinda is poorly treated by her evil sisters Evanorah (Weisz) and Theodorah (Kunis). Presumably, drama and hilarity ensues, with lots of loud “konk!” sound effects (a Raimi specialty) and broomstick laser blasts. Are you psyched? We’re psyched. So psyched.
We want an Excel spreadsheet that is labeled, color-coded and cross-referenced with exactly how James Franco spends his time down to the minute. Mere days after we find out about Franco’s doctorate program at University of Houston, word of James Franco’s dance-theater directorial debut pops up in the internet. It literally takes us 2 1/2 hours to pull ourselves together to go to the gym; the Your Highness star could get an associate’s degree in half that time, plus do re-shoots on Rise of the Planet of the Apeswithout breaking a sweat. Oh how we resent him for his efficiency!
In addition to directing the multi-media show entitled “Collage” at the Stella Adler studios in New York City next month, Franco will narrate the piece, which is reportedly a mix of dance, theater, poetry and music. Which we’re sure Franco wrote himself, in the amount of time it took us to wait in line at Taco Bell.
Looks like the Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes star might be adding the title “Doctor” to his name (in addition to “weird yet hot” or “Worst Oscars host ever”), as James Franco is getting his doctorate at University of Houston. Someone got a peak at the incoming student list and noticed a doctoral candidate named James Franco with an M.F.A. from NYU, Columbia and Warren Wilson College: just the exact number of programs an eccentric actor might have enrolled in. It would be pretty unlikely that another student would have precisely the same name and academic resume, though we’re sure if he did, the actor version of James Franco would immediately turn it into a piece of perturbing performance art.
Don’t worry, though. Dr. James won’t be snapping on rubber gloves and asking you to cough anytime soon (not in a medical sense, anyway);Ã‚Â just like his other degrees, his doctorate will be in literature. “James Franco was scheduled to enter the PhD program in Literature and Creative Writing in Fall 2011, but he requested a deferral for an additional year, which the faculty granted, so he is now scheduled to begin doctoral work here in Fall 2012,” a spokesperson for the writing program confirmed, leaving Franco just enough time to sneak in a quick M.F.A./nap at Yale in the meantime.
With Your Highness and his Oscar hosting gig big flops, it’s good that James Franco is getting back to the quality dramatic work that has separated him from the other Judd Apatow-born goofballs. In the trailer for this summer’s Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, James plays a serious doctor who’s discovered a serious drug that allows “the brain to repair itself,” with his serious pronouncement “we call it…the cure” followed by one of those dramatic foghorn whomps from the Inception trailer. Though fellow Danny Boyle vet Freida Pinto is worried, James tells her the drug “has the potential to change lives” (whomp) and goes on to “the next phase” (whomp). Unfortunately, the drug makes all the test apes smart, and “our greatest discovery” becomes “our greatest threat.” Whomp.
So far the reaction from fans has been “yeah, but we’ve got guns,” so hopefully there’s some explanation in the film why we can’t just shoot all these damn dirty apes before they take over the Earth and ruin things for Charlton Heston. Either way, if there’s more awesome The Birds-style shots of apes patiently waiting to crush some human like in the trailer, this should be a lot of fun even if serious James Franco is serious throughout.
We don’t know what to make of this. Lindsay Lohan recently told the New York Post that she would love to be in the upcoming Wizard Of Oz prequel called Oz: The Great And Powerful, but only because it would allow her to work with James Franco who, she claims, is her best friend. “I think the only role I could play is Glinda,” Lohan told Page Six. “I’ll only do the movie if I can work with [James Franco]. We’re like best friends. We’re hanging out later.” What??? Forget the part about Lohan playing the saintly Good Witch Of The North for a second and focus on the Franco.
We know that the pair posed recently for a book that photographer Terry Richardson is working on (a book that features Lohan reportedly posing nude), but we didn’t realize their friendship had blossomed into bestie territory. Look, both celebrities are fascinating in their own ways, but given their current Hollywood statures (Franco being one of the most employable actors at the moment, Lohan being the opposite of that), we’re a bit surprised. Of course it may just one more super-meta Franco stunts, like his stint on General Hospital, where he’s just doing it to mess with people. Unless…They really are just best friends. In which case, we’re at a total loss.
Now that Your Highness has hit theaters, you can rest assured there is a funny, raunchy medieval comedy out there for you to enjoy. It’s called Robin Hood: Men In Tights and it came out in 1993. However, if you like wacky violence, topless ladies and production values so cheap it makes your high school gym look like the set of Gone With The Wind, then sit down while I spin you the tale of Your Highness.
Danny McBride plays slovenly, horny Prince Thadeous, who spends his day porking the wife of the dwarf king and smoking bowl after bowl of the kingdom’s finest. From the first f-bomb dropped in a high English accent, McBride is basically Eastbound and Down‘s Kenny Powers; they didn’t even bother to give him a new haircut. While this might have been a clever way to reel in moviegoers familiar with his foul-mouth ball player, it wasn’t the best way to, you know, make a film that wasn’t terrible.
While the negative effects of smoking marijuana have been portrayed on film for over seventy years, the current age of stoner-friendly cinema can largely be credited to one Judd Apatow. As the unofficial ringleader of the Frat Pack, he wrote, directed and produced a veritable bumper crop of pro-Mary Jane films over the last half-dozen years or so. Films like Knocked Up, Pineapple Express and Superbad worked very hard to smash the stigma that the Reagan administration attached to the cannabis plant, and their tremendous success at the box office unquestionably played a role (albeit, likely, a minor one) in the “Legalize It” movement that is slowly gaining steam in both Red and Blue states.
Although Apatow had nothing to do with this weekend’s release of the latest entrant in the stoner-friendly canon, the medieval fantasy Your Highness (get it?), we here at TheFABLife figured now is as good a time as any to countdown our all-time, Top 25 fictional stoners in cinematic history. From the trailblazing likes of Cheech Marin to the nonsense-spewing Jay of Clerks fame, from the highly paranoid/confessional behavior of Nicole Kidman’s character in Eyes Wide Shut to the perpetually buzzed Wooderson in Dazed and Confused, we hope you enjoy this look at cinema’s most baked characters, maaaaaan!
He was an award show host, a film student and an Oscar nominee, and that was just over a long weekend. Now director David Gordon Green praises the fact that James Franco’s Your Highness scenes were improvised, particularly the rich, insightful decision to be sexually molested by a magician. “When they go and visit the wise wizard, in the script that’s just an exposition scene: ‘This is what you do, see you later,’” Green explained to New York Mag. “We were kind of bored with that exposition, so Franco goes, ‘What if I got molested by [the wizard]?’” Colin Firth wishes he could have come up with something half as genius for The King’s Speech, though to be fair they would have just edited it out for the PG-13 version.
Apparently Your Highness, Natalie Portman and Danny McBride rounding out the cast also features a “sexually arouse Minotaur,” the kind of bold decision that helps a talent like Franco hone his craft. “It’s so funny, in a movie like this, to be sitting around with very acclaimed creature designers and executive from the studio, and say, ‘We’re gonna do something that’s pretty graphic and vulgar, and it’s gonna be a substantial plot point,’” Green laughed “And they’re very straitlaced people, just going, ‘Well, should the penis be circumcised?’” We think you know who you need to turn to with questions like that.
James Franco has been criticized plenty for his Oscar-hosting gig with Anne Hathaway earlier this year, and after all the digs about his energy not matching up to Hathaway’s, his Tweeting from the stage, and the possibility that he was high, he’s finally responding to critics.
Franco was on The Late Show With David Letterman and discussed his hosting with Dave, who has hosted the award show himself and is familiar with the gig. The segment airs tonight, but in this video, you can get a preview of Franco defending himself from the critics and telling Dave “People said I was under the influence. I’ve thought about it. I think I know why. I love her, but Anne Hathaway is so energetic, I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway.” After defending himself a bit more against the hatorade, Letterman says to Franco, as only Letterman could, “Let me ask you a question. What the hell do you care?” Exactly. It’s been over a month, let’s all let it go!
Actor. Visionary. Friend to gay gigolos the world over. Amidst all of his other gigs, James Franco teaching at NYU will be just one more feather in his insane, feather-covered cap. The 127 Hours actor signed on to teach a graduate film studies class this fall, which most likely means Anne Hathaway will teach it while Franco stands three feet away, giggling unhelpfully. “James has an amazing mind and limitless energy,” explained John Tintori, chair of the graduate film program. “Our students will be fortunate to learn from him. We anticipate the students in his class will feel especially privileged to have him as a teacher.” Privileged by all the free time they have after Prof. Franco falls asleep face-down on the text book, but privileged none the less.
Franco will instructing his class out of the Karbar Institute of Film & Television, where “He will be teaching a section of a third year directing class in the graduate film division. It will compromise 10 to 12 students.” confirmed an NYU spokesperson. It class is already filled, no doubt fueled by the student’s passionate interest in finding out what the actor was on during Franco’s Oscar hosting gig. We mean learning! The students have a passionate interest in learning. We imagine James’ class will be just like the Dead Poet’s Society, but with more Twitter insults aimed at Bruce Vilanch. Just slightly more.