If you read up on the life of explorer Gertrude Bell, it’s abundantly clear that this is a woman whose story should be told. In 2003, The Guardian devoted an entire article to the influence her cartography had on the modern Middle East, with Bell practically drawing the country border of Iraq by her lonesome. And now audiences will be able to explore her legacy with Queen of the Desert (via Deadline), a new film starring Nicole Kidman and both written and directed by the legendary Werner Herzog.
Well, if James Franco and Seth Rogen couldn’t make an ‘80s teen series work out, they might have better luck in the ‘90s. We’ll find out, as the Pineapple Express pair are teaming with Hulu and screenwriter/media personality Kelly Oxford for a new ‘90s teen drama.
Look, there’s no two ways about the fact that James Franco playing mustachioed twins for The Wire creator David Simon’s ‘70s New York porn drama is funny. There is no ceiling on “Peak Franco,” and these first official photos from The Deuce certainly aren’t about to find one.
With every new studio release, Ridley Scott likes to remind us all of his background in advertising. The director behind the canonized “Nineteen Eighty-Four” Macintosh commercial tends to mount an inventive promotional campaign for each of his motion picture efforts — both Prometheus and The Martian showed off their elaborate, space-ready production design through early faux-featurettes, and Scott has pulled the same move today. This morning saw the release of a “prologue” video titled “The Last Supper” in relation to the upcoming sequel Alien: Covenant, and while it gives viewers a chance to familiarize themselves with the crew of a major interstellar colonization effort, it’s also a chilling bait-and-switch unto itself.
We haven’t seen much from Alien: Covenant since the red band trailer dropped late last year and a few photos here and there. But today brings a brand new photo of the colony ship’s crew (and a guest cameo), which finds everyone smiley and free of danger.
Alright, SXSW, let’s do this. With just weeks to go before the start of this year’s fest, SXSW has announced even more additions to their 2017 lineup, including the world premiere of James Franco’s The Disaster Artist — the actor / writer / director’s new film based on the making of Tommy Wiseau’s totally bonkers cult favorite The Room. The programming team has also announced this year’s Midnighters lineup, featuring several intriguing genre films to play in the late-night slot (aka peak mind-melting hour).
Here’s a question for you: does James Franco continue to make juvenile comedies as a way of subsidizing his serious work, or does he make serious movies to provide himself the latitude to make juvenile comedies? I honestly have no idea. For every The Night Before, there seems to be an As I Lay Dying; for every Why Him?, a Child of God. While many actors and aspiring filmmakers try to find their niche and consolidate their power, Franco seems to be split pretty evenly among his penchant for comedy and his desire for drama. He could win an Oscar or a Razzie at any given moment.
Say what you will about James Franco, you can’t deny he isn’t a prolific artist. With a metric ton of projects that are either ongoing or announced, Franco has enough work to keep him busy for the next half a century. And like any actor-director, he has his favored collaborators, and he’s just announced that Bryan Cranston will play a younger version of himself for their third collaboration together.
Showbiz is weird sometimes: director Justin Kelly premiered his first feature-length film I Am Michael at Sundance in January 2015, where James Franco earned scattered praise for his performance as real-life “ex-gay” Michael Glatze. Instead of sitting on his hands and waiting for the film to land a distribution deal, Kelly went right ahead and commenced work on his second feature, the gay porn saga King Cobra, which premiered at Tribeca back in the spring of 2016. “James Franco in a movie about gay porn” proved to be a more hooky angle, and the film was shown in theaters across America this past fall. That bump to Kelly’s profile enabled him to finally land distribution for I Am Michael, the trailer for which surfaced yesterday in advance of its release on January 27. Both debut and not, Kelly’s first film will be his second release. Just a fun film-industry fact.
Had enough of those never-ending stills yet? Good news — the Alien: Covenant trailer is here, and it’s equal parts stunning and downright horrifying. Watch as a sinister particle drifts into an android’s ear, cringe as a man leans over a slowly hatching alien egg, marvel at the sweeping, beautiful landscapes of a planet we all know is full of creatures that want to kill us! Oh, and I am never, ever taking a shower again.