What can be said about James Franco that hasn’t already been said? Or, rather, how can any of us know what has been said about him at all? Franco is like some kind of ephemeral dream person, always flittering just out of sight. You hear about him doing some stupid self-aggrandizing project, but he’s already gone on to his next self-aggrandizing project by the time you try to look at him. Occasionally, though, he looks down on us mortals and deigns to do something that isn’t overblown and ridiculous. This is one of those times, sort of.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Franco has announced that his next directorial effort will be an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle. The book, like all Steinbeck books, is about people standing up against the corrupt people and systems that control their lives and fight in the name of social justice, but this time it revolves around apple pickers in California. Surprisingly, Franco has stacked the film’s cast with big names, threatening to actually take the spotlight off of himself for once in favor of focusing on Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Danny McBride, Bryan Cranston, Vincent D’Onofrio, or Selena Gomez. OK, some of those people aren’t quite on the same level as some others—*cough* Robert Duvall *cough*—but at least he isn’t just casting himself in every role. He is apparently starring in the film, though. Classic Franco.