James Franco has been seriously busy as of late. He’s been writing books, buying up movie rights, even attending Yale to work on a doctorate in English. On top of that, he’s still acting, turning in a potential Best Actor performance in 127 Hours. Now, we can add directing to that long list of things to do. Showbiz 411 reveals that James Franco is set to start filming his directorial debut in just a couple of weeks.
Recently, Franco bought rights to two books (Holy Land and The Adderall Diaries), and even announced that he plans to direct the second of those himself. However, before he ever gets to that, he’ll be taking his own writing to the big screen. Franco recently wrote a script based on the biography of poet Hart Crane. Now, he has announced that he is set to begin direction on the project in a matter of weeks. Reports even indicate that Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Before the Devil Knows Your Dead) may already be signed on to star in the project. The project, titled The Broken Tower, is set to film in and around the New York area.
The Broken Tower was the last poem meant to be published in Hart Crane’s life. The poem is widely considered the be one of the best works of Crane’s career, and possibly the best. It is generally undisputed that The Broken Tower is a biographical work inspired by his first heterosexual affair with Peggy Cowley. By some, it is considered to be his death ode. The poem was never published until after Hart Crane’s suicide in 1932.
Hart Crane’s life was one filled with tragedy. As a homosexual, he endured persecution for his lifestyle. His life’s work was often extensively panned by critics during Crane’s life. This only worsened an already horrible drinking problem that Crane had. As his drinking continued over the years, he also suffered from bouts of depression amongst all of it. His life came to a tragic ending when he was sailing back to New York from Mexico aboard the SS Orizaba. After being beaten for making sexual advances to one of the male crew members, Crane was beaten for his actions. It was shortly after this encounter, while still aboard the SS Orizaba, that Crane took his own life by jumping overboard at the age of 32. His body was never recovered.
James Franco’s love for poetry seems more evident now as he takes on this project. Earlier in the year, he starred in another film as a poet (Allen Ginsberg) in the biopic Howl. Whether or not Franco will act in his own film, The Broken Tower, is unknown as of yet. How he manages to keep up with such a huge workload is beyond me, clearly the actor/author/student/soon-to-be-director is a workhorse. We’ll keep you informed as more news becomes available for The Broken Tower.
Filed Under: Movie News