EXCLUSIVE: What is it lately with directors walking off their own movies just before production starts? Two weeks before he was scheduled to begin production as director and star of Garden Of Last Days, James Franco pulled out of the film today. I’m told that effectively scraps a film that had $500,000 spent so far, a $3 million budget and a July 10 production start date. It’s the second time a filmmaker bailed late in the game, after Lynn Ramsay exited Jane Got A Gun hours before production was to start. That film held it together, but I’m told that this will shut down. Franco, currently in theaters in This Is The End, committed to direct and star in late April, just as he was preparing to unveil his latest film, As I Lay Dying, in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes.
I’m hearing that Franco’s exit had to do with a disagreement with financier Millennium over the crew he wanted to hire. Basically, Franco put together a few that didn’t have the experience to get approval from the bond company. Millennium wouldn’t approve his choices.