No stranger to upending preconceived notions, inserting himself into historical scenes, or confusing diversions that seem like they might never pay off, James Franco has signed on to star in Hulu’s 11/22/63. As previously reported, the streaming service picked up the Stephen King adaptation from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, with plans to turn the story of one man’s trip through a mysterious wormhole to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy into a nine-hour event series—the better to capture every moment of not preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy that man actually does. And now that man will be played by Franco, who will put to good use his considerable experience with wasting your time while waxing nostalgic over the late 1950s.
Franco will play time-traveling English teacher Jake Epping, with the Hulu press release helpfully reminding that Franco has already pretended to be a teacher elsewhere at UCLA, USC, and Cal-Arts. And should you be the sort who needs to assign labels, taking this role is technically Franco’s first regular TV job since Freaks And Geeks—though that depends on whether you define a Hulu event series as “television,” a “regular TV job” as playing a meta version of yourself on General Hospital, or a “role” as something that is to be “taken,” rather than for you to be taken by it.
Of course, someone with that sort of quotidian brain probably believes that JFK has to be killed according to the “rules.” They should probably just stay home with their conventional televisions and values, safe under the blanket of their traditional murdered presidents.