James Franco has an interesting career, starting out — more or less — as a regular on “Freaks and Geeks,” before becoming that cast’s first breakout star by appearing in all three Spider-Man movies. Outside of Spider-Man and a modicum of commercial success with Pineapple Express and critical success with Milk, however, Franco’s resume is littered with films that range from the terrible (Flyboys, Annapolis, City by the Sea) to the forgettable (In the Valley of Elah, The Dead Girl, Tristan + Isolde). Lately, he’s been filling his time with a stint on “General Hospital,” and a decent documentary about the behind-the-scenes machinations of “Saturday Night Live.”
It looks like he’s due now for the second phase of his career as a more solid comedic presence and, perhaps, an action star of sorts. His participation in two projects was announced yesterday. The bigger one is that he’s now been cast as the lead in the unnecessary Planet of the Apes prequel, Rise of the Apes, from director Rupery Hyatt (The Escapist). Plot details are scant, but my guess is that Franco will play a young scientist in modern-day San Francisco who had a central role in the development of intelligence in apes, prompting them to rise up and compete with human’s for Earth’s supremacy. Guess who wins? Shooting will begin in July with a release date set for June 2011.
The other project is called Ricky Stanicky, based on a spec script from Beverly Hills’ Chihuahua scribe, Jeff Bushell (eeek). The movie is about a group of teenagers who pull a prank and burn down a house. They make up a fake person, Ricky Stanicky, to blame it on. “Twenty years later, we see that the three guys have been using this alibi to get out of every uncomfortable situation in life. When their wives force them to set up a meeting with Stanicky, they hire an actor,” who will be played by Franco. (Source: THR)
Not promising. Not promising at all. Maybe Franco should stick with the Apatow guys and Funny or Die videos.