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‘Mice’ Roar More: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd & Co. Will Get ‘NT Live’ Broadcasts

‘Mice’ Roar More: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd & Co. Will Get ‘NT Live’ BroadcastsProducer David Binder, juggling the smash success of two star-driven Broadway revivals — Hedwig And The Angry Inch and Of Mice And Men — added another arrow to his quiver of successful producing tips this morning by announcing a deal has been struck making the Steinbeck drama, starring James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester and Jim Norton, the first Broadway show to be filmed for telecast under the wing of the UK’s National Theatre Live.

The deal was made in a flurry of activity over the last several days, Wayne Wolfe, a spokesman for the show, told Deadline, including securing the OKs of Broadway’s particularly protective unions. Read More »

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The ‘Mice’ That Roared: Franco, O’Dowd, Meester Sets Broadway House Record; ‘Beautiful’ Too

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 8:51am PDT

The ‘Mice’ That Roared: Franco, O’Dowd, Meester Sets Broadway House Record; ‘Beautiful’ TooUPDATE: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical grossed $1.3 million, breaking the house record at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre for the 12th time in 36 weeks of performances.

Proving their chops as Broadway draws, James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester and Jim Norton set a second house record last week as their run in the revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men comes to a close. The show grossed $929,888 for the week ending July 20, breaking its previous record of $897,851.00 for the week ending April 27. The show, which opened on April 16 at the Longacre Theatre and recouped its $3.8 million capitalization after 12 weeks, ends its limited run this Sunday.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.08.51 AMThe success of Mice, staged by Anna D. Shapiro, underscores the value of smart marketing, stalwart producing and, essentially, great word-of-mouth, all of which urged the show — hardly your typical breezy summer fare — to must-see status. The producers are David Binder, Kate Lear, Darren Bagert, Adam Zotovich, Latitude Link/Piedmont Productions, Raise the Roof, Paula Marie Black, Marc Turtletaub, Ruth Hendel/Barbara Whitman, Marianne Mills/Jayne Baron Sherman, Martin Massman, Judy Kent/Wendy Knudsen, Kevin Niu, Michael Watt and The Shubert Organization. 101 Productions, Ltd are the executive producers.

More Broadway box office news will come this afternoon.

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Do They Really Need The Help? Dave Franco, Conan Join Tinder (Video)

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 9:22pm PDT

Do They Really Need The Help? Dave Franco, Conan Join Tinder (Video)OK, maybe Conan O’Brien could use a little help on the hookup from time to time, given that Nike-worthy swoosh of red hair atop his 6’5″ frame, but really, does any member of the Franco clan, especially young Dave Franco, need to worry about whipping out the Tinder mobile app to connect with comely cyber-denizens interested in more-than-virtual meetings? They have a lot of fun filling out their fake profiles as “Chip Whitley” and “Jengis Roundstone,” but remember folks, don’t try this at home. It could be a Tinder trap. Check out the video here:

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James Franco’s Warring Former Managers Settle Commission Skimming Lawsuit

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 6:21pm PDT

James Franco’s Warring Former Managers Settle Commission Skimming LawsuitThree months after principals from James Franco’s former management company went to the legal barricades against the actor’s ex-rep and his ex-financial adviser for fraud and a litany of other claims, former partners Miles Levy and Randy James have come to an agreement. “The litigation between Randy James and Miles Levy has been amicably settled by the parties, with no side admitting fault,” said the James Levy Management co-founders in a joint statement today. In a multi-claim complaint filed on April 18, James and former company director Ken Jacobson claimed that since 2006 Levy had been skimming a third of the 15% that long time client Franco had been paying in commissions to the Burbank-based management company. Now that’s all old news. “There has been publicity over this lawsuit, and certain reports have been published.  As a result of the dispute between the parties, the parties wish to make clear that no client money was ever at risk, and no client has lost anything as a result of the facts giving rise to this dispute. This was an internal dispute and that dispute has now been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction,” the statement today added.

Additionally, I’ve learned that James has now started his own company Randy James Management. All of his JLM clients, such as Rachael Leigh Cook, Corbin Bernsen, Jennie Garth and High School Musical’s Corbin Bleu are continuing with him under this new banner now. JLM is totally shuttered and  the 28-year business partnership between James and Levy … Read More »

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Broadway Box Office: Slow But Steady, ‘Mice’, ‘Cripple’ Leap $100K-plus

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 12:00pm PDT

Broadway Box Office: Slow But Steady, ‘Mice’, ‘Cripple’ Leap $100K-plusUPDATE: CORRECTED FIGURES The Broadway League released corrected figures for Cabaret that changed the weekly totals. Correct figures  are: Week 7 of the Broadway season held fairly steady over the previous week, showing a gain of $517,224 over the week before to a total take of $25,634,839, according to figures released by the trade group the Broadway League

More than half the uptick came from increases for two star-driven dramas. Of Mice And Men, featuring James Franco and  Chris O’Dowd in the John Steinbeck revival, took in $862,862, an increase of $107,506 over the week before at the Longacre  Theatre, with nearly every one of its 1,073 seats filled for all eight performances. Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple Of Inishmaan, at the 1,073-seat Cort, was up $129,241 to $596,630. That’s 61% of its $970,200 gross potential; the show played to 85 percent of capacity.

Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, AWalter Kerr TheatreTony best musical winner A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder gained again, by $14,841, to $901,681 and played to full houses. Also at or near SRO: Aladdin, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Matilda, Newsies, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King (which advanced again, to a Street-topping tally of $2,151,409), and Wicked.

Total season-to-date gross was $196,147,592, up 17.7% from the same week last season. Priciest average ducat was Book Of Mormon ($185.25), followed by Lion King ($160.74) Beautiful ($151.87)  and Hedwig ($148.66).

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Hot Trailer: James Franco’s ‘Child Of God’

By | Friday June 27, 2014 @ 2:28pm PDT

Hot Trailer: James Franco’s ‘Child Of God’The James Franco-directed adaptation of the novel by  Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men, The Road) stars Scott Haze as Lester Ballard, a dispossessed, violent man living in a small Tennessee town in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1960s. Deprived of parents and housing and filled with loneliness and despair, Ballard falls deeper into crime and degradation. Franco also stars in, co-wrote and produced the pic. Well Go USA Entertainment releases Child Of God on August 1. Check out the latest trailer:

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‘Mice’ Man James Franco Will Make Stage Directing Debut Off-Off-Broadway

By | Monday June 16, 2014 @ 2:00pm PDT

‘Mice’ Man James Franco Will Make Stage Directing Debut Off-Off-BroadwayNot content to be starring with Chris O’Dowd on Broadway in a revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men, James Franco is simultaneously directing the world premiere of The Long Shrift for the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, a highly regarded off-off-Broadway company based in Greenwich Village. Novelist Robert Boswell’s play concerns the return home of a teenage boy after serving nine years for rape. Show is slated to run July 7-August 23 at the company’s home base at 224 Waverly Place.

The company’s “special summer season” will continue with Phoenix, a love story in which Julia Stiles will star with James Wirt about a couple in the aftermath of a one-night stand. Jennifer DeLia will direct the show, running July 28 through August 23 at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Interview’ With Seth Rogen, James Franco

By | Wednesday June 11, 2014 @ 7:34pm PDT

Seth Rogen James Franco The InterviewThe trailer for Sony‘s action comedy The Interviewstarring Seth Rogen and James Franco as stars of a celebrity tabloid show who are headed to their biggest interview yet, — with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, whom they plan to assassinate. The film is directed by Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The screenplay is by Dan Sterling, from a story by  Rogen & Goldberg & Dan Sterling. Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Weaver are the producers. Not sure what this film’s premise will do for the already chilly relationship between the U.S. and the Hermit Kingdom, but hey, the trailer looks entertaining. Take a look:

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Bart & Fleming: Are Cinematic Comedy Creators Taking Themselves Too Seriously?

By and | Sunday June 8, 2014 @ 9:04am PDT

FlemingBartColumn_badge__140510005503Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly Sunday column, two old friends get together and grind their axes on the movie business.

Bart: Here’s a suggestion for Adam Sandler, Seth MacFarlane and James Franco that none will appreciate: Guys, you should think about taking a sabbatical. All of you have been working too hard, trying too hard, and you’ve become predictable. Why not take a place on the sidelines for a while and think about life? I know the whole concept of “the sidelines” worries you. They’re already occupied by the likes of Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey and Mike Myers; it’s much more fun being in the middle of the action. Even too much action.

operaFleming: Wow, that’s a buckshot blast. Those three fall into different categories. Let’s take them one at a time, starting with Sandler. I loved his Saturday Night Live character creations, from Opera Man to Canteen Boy and miss the edge he carried into his early films. I wish Adam would stop pandering to the four quadrants and challenge himself to write something less predictable. Audiences are losing interest.

Bart: My problem with Sandler, MacFarlane and others is that “raunchier” doesn’t necessarily mean “funnier”. Scatalogical humor already has been pushed over the edge this summer and we are yet to see Melissa McCarthy’s new road movie, Tammy, or the next Cameron Diaz epic, Sex Tape. By the standards of the moment, the Diaz-Ben Stiller hair gel moment in There’s Something About Mary seems like a Disney picture. The R ratings for movies like Neighbors were saved only by some eleventh-hour manipulation in the cutting room — “frame-f*cking,” it’s called, and it’s a flourishing career. Read More »

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Christian Slater Joins James Franco In ‘Adderall Diaries’

By | Thursday June 5, 2014 @ 8:12am PDT
Mike Fleming

slaterEXCLUSIVE: Christian Slater has been set to join James Franco in the Pamela Romanowsky-directed Adderall Diaries. Franco plays a troubled and drug-addicted writer who becomes fascinated by a big murder trial and decides to create a book focusing on the explosive case. Slater will play the focus of that case, a man suspected of killing his ex-wife. Romanowsky wrote the script and Vince Jolivette will produce. The film will be shot in New York. Slater, last seen in the Lars von Trier-directed Nymphomaniac films, is repped by UTA.

Related: James Franco Buys ‘The Adderall Diaries’

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Specialty Box Office: Auds Savor ‘Chef’ Over Mother’s Day Weekend; Gia Coppola’s ‘Palo Alto’ Seduces

By | Sunday May 11, 2014 @ 8:38am PDT

chef2014 SXSW Film Festival opener Chef by writer-director-star Jon Favreau had audiences salivating this weekend in limited release. It cooked up a good showing in 6 theaters with a solid $204K opening and landing in the top tier of this year’s releases in terms of theater average. The feature, also starring Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, and Dustin Hoffman no less,Specialty Box Office came in just over $34K in its PTA. Only a few other titles landed higher in their openings in the averages game. Grand Budapest Hotel is way out in front — and likely will be for sometime — with a $202K average, while Fading Gigolo opened in April with a $39,860 average in an initial five runs. Under The Skin (which incidentally also featured Johansson) came in with a $35K PTA in four theaters.

“We’re excited, Chef played great this weekend,” said Open Road’s Jason Cassidy. “Exit polls are stellar and we think the film has a nice long life ahead of it. Kudos go to Favreau for making a great, very playable movie and his work in promotion.” Cassidy said that the audience leaned female “as expected.” It will hit the top 10 markets next week and will expand beyond that based on performance.

Related: DOMESTIC BOX OFFICE: ‘Neighbors’ A Raucous No. 1 As ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Hits A Wall; ‘The Other Woman’ On Strong Legs

After a premiere long ago in Telluride, Venice and Toronto (and recently at the San Francisco and Montclair film festivals), another Coppola enters the box office with her debut feature. Read More »

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James Franco’s ‘Child Of God’ Acquired By Well Go USA

By | Friday May 9, 2014 @ 10:54am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Well Go USA has acquired North American rights childto Child Of God, the James Franco-directed adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel. The film will be released in 10 cities August 1, and a VOD/DVD rollout will follow October 28. Franco wrote the script with Vince Jolivette. Jolivette, Franco’s Rabbit Bandini partner, produced with Caroline Aragorn.

childsScott Haze stars as Lester Ballad, a dispossessed, violent man who tries to exist outside of the social order. Deprived of parents and housing, his loneliness and despair relegates him to the level of a cave dweller and he falls deeper into crime and degradation in a small town at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee in the 1960s. Can he retain any level of humanity as his isolation from society becomes more extreme? Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack and Franco also star.

“This film stands shoulder-to-shoulder with No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood for its unrelenting intensity,” said Well Go’s Doris Pfardrescher. “Scott Haze’s performance is exceptional. There are no words to describe it. It simply must be seen.”

Franco’s repped by CAA, and Haze by ICM and Thruline. Here’s the trailer:

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UPDATE: James Franco’s Former Biz Management’s Countersuit “Will Be Shut Down Quickly”, Says Plaintiffs’ Attorney

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 8:20pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGE"Of Mice And Men" Broadway Opening Night - After PartyUPDATED, 8:20 PM: Just hours after James Franco’s former management company sued the actor’s ex-rep and his ex-financial adviser for fraud and a litany of other claims, Tanner Mainstain Blatt Glynn & Johnson LLP has fired back with a counterclaim. “JLM, the management company, was rife with internal mismanagement, surreptitious behavior, duplicitousness and questionable ethical acts,” the Hollywood financial management company said in its 7-page filing today in LA Superior Court. “By its Complaint, the management company and its owners seek to make TMBGJ responsible for their own myriad Tannerinternal shortcomings.” The counterclaim alleges that in desperation to keep The Planet Of The Apes actor as a client, JLM partner and co-founder Randy James looked the other way at his former partner Miles Levy’s supposed skimming of a third of Franco’s commissions from 2006 to late 2013 as well as other indiscretions.

The lawyers for James and fellow plaintiff and former JLM director Ken Jacobson isn’t buying the spirit or the letter of the counterclaim. “This is no defense to the complaint’s allegations that Tanner Mainstain name partner Steve Blatt knowingly facilitated, concealed and profited from Mr. Levy’s theft from the corporation,” plaintiffs’ primary attorney Devin McRae said in a statement after the counterclaim was filed today. “The law doesn’t allow fraudsters to point to the victim and say, ‘It’s your fault I duped you’. This pleading will be shut down quickly.” TMBGJ is represented by attorney Randall Dean of LA film Chapman Glucksman Dean Roeb & Barger.

PREVIOUSLY, 1:06 PM: Last fall my colleague Mike Fleming Jr reported that James Franco and Miles Levy, his manager of almost two decades, had parted ways. Today, according to a multi-claim complaint (read it here) filed in LA Superior Court, we might have a sense of what really happened. “Box office star James Franco’s recently fired talent and financial managers, Defendants Miles Levy and Steve Blatt, conspired to, and did by fraudulent means, embezzle significant sums in commissions due James Levy Management for nearly a decade,” says the filing for a jury trial. It adds dramatically: “The thieves have been caught and the day of reckoning has arrived.”

2012 Palm Springs International ShortFest - Agents, Managers and Actors PanelLevy is said to have been skimming a third of the 15% Franco has been paying in commissions to the Burbank-based management company since 2006. Alleging breach of contract, fraud and unjust enrichment among other claims, James Levy Management co-founder Randy James and former company director Ken Jacobson have gone after Levy plus big-time Hollywood financial management firm Tanner Mainstain Blatt Glynn & Johnson LLP and partner Blatt for unspecified compensatory, exemplary and punitive damages. They also want an independent accounting, a court declaration of their rights, and an order “removing Levy from office.” The plaintiffs say they discovered this case of sticky fingers on March 20, 2014 and that is why they have brought this legal action now. Obviously, the 50-year friendship and 28-year business partnership between James and Levy has hit a bit of a rocky period to put it mildly. Read More »

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‘SNL’: Guest Host Seth Rogen Ribs James Franco About Underage Girl Incident

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 2:57am PDT

Seth Rogen — aka “Bear Man” as nicknamed by former Saturday Night Live character Vinny Veducci (Bill Hader) — marked his third guest host appearance on the NBC sketch comedy show tonight. Rogen was only 23 years old when he first hosted, and apparently he was having so much fun, it was all a blur to him. Hence, Rogen decided to chronicle his recent week at SNL in a journal.  One high point for Rogen entailed pranking James Franco by posing as a girl on Instagram. “I told him (James) I was way young. He seemed unfazed. I have a date to meet him at the Ace Hotel,” quipped Rogen in reference to Franco’s recent incident with a 17 year-old Scottish girl.  Toward the end of Rogen’s opening monologue, he got by with a little help from his friends including Zooey Deschanel, Taylor Swift and, of course, Franco. Take a look:

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Justin Kelly Teams With James Franco & Gus Van Sant For ‘Michael’

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 12:39pm PDT
Mike Fleming

mag-19friend-t_CA1-articleInlineJustin Kelly, a protege of Gus Van Sant, has set a summer start date for Michael, a film that Kelly will direct that will star James Franco. The pic is based on the Benoit Denizet-Lewis article “My Ex-Gay Friend,” published in The New York Times Magazine. franco__120329160903While there have been some gay empowerment-themed films cropping up (Van Sant and Franco did Milk together), this one takes the opposite track. Franco is playing the title character, a gay activist who, after enduring years of taunts and struggle, becomes an anti-gay Christian pastor. Kelly, who’s repped by Gotham Group and attorney Peter Nichols, wrote the script. Benoit is repped by Zachary, Shuster, Harmsworth and Hotchkiss & Associates.  Franco, Vince Jolivette, Scott Reed, Ron Singer and Joel Michaely will produce, while Van Sant is exec producer.

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday February 9, 2014 @ 5:11pm PST

Catch up on Deadline’s top film stories you missed this week:

James Franco The RoomJames Franco’s Production Company Acquires Book About So-Bad-It’s-Good Cult Movie ‘The Room’
By The Deadline Team – James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions has optioned book and life rights to The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the book published last fall by Simon & Schuster from actor Greg Sestero and journalist Tom Bissell.

BOX OFFICE: ‘Lego’ Blockbuster $69M+; ‘Monuments Men’ Solid Second; ‘Vampire Academy’ Has No Bite
By Anita Busch The Lego Movie is in the record books as the biggest animated pic opener of all time for Warner Bros., surpassing Happy Feet which opened to $41.5M in 2006 (and went onto gross $384.3M worldwide). It’s also the biggest opener ever for the studio in February.

Universal Closes $1 Million Spec Deal For ‘Mena,’ 80s Drug Tale Ron Howard Will Direct
By Mike Fleming Jr.EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures today closed a $1 million spec deal for Mena, a script by Gary Spinelli that has Ron Howard attached to direct.

Benedict-CumberbatchBerlin Record Deal: Harvey Weinstein Pays $7 Million For Alan Turing WWII Tale ‘The Imitation Game’
By Mike Fleming Jr.EXCLUSIVE: In what I am told will go down as the highest price paid ever for U.S. rights on a movie at the European Film Market, The Weinstein Company has locked a deal to pay $7 million for The Imitation Game, the Graham Moore Black List script that Morten Tyldum directed with Benedict Cumberbatch playing Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Read More »

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James Franco’s Production Company Acquires Book About So-Bad-It’s-Good Cult Movie ‘The Room’

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 6:30pm PST

James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions has optioned book and life rights DisasterArtistto The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the book published last fall by Simon & Schuster from actor Greg Sestero and journalist Tom Bissell. francoFranco will direct and co-produce the book adaptation with his Rabbit Bandini  partner Vince Jolivette, and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Productions. Ryan Moody is writing the script.

Sestero and Tommy Wiseau co-wrote and starred in the 2003 feature film The Room, which some have called the worst movie ever made. Wiseau directed, produced and financed the pic, which was self-released only in Southern California before word-of-mouth spread. It has since achieved cult status for its hole-filled plot and poor production values, earning it a place in the midnight show slots usually occupied by pics like Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Among the Room converts is the CAA-repped Franco, who reviewed the book on Vice in December, calling Wiseau “part vampire, part Hollywood dreamer, part gangster, part Ed Wood, and super lonely” and equating the novel to being a combination of Boogie Nights and The Master and praising it for going beyond being just a bunch of anecdotes from the set of a bad movie. Last month, Franco posted on Instagram that the book was his: ”A new Franco joint, starring both Francos – produced by seth and evan Wazzup now?!”

Here’s the trailer for The Room:

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One More Hyphenate For James Franco: Acting School Headmaster

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 3:55pm PST
Mike Fleming

jfrJames Franco, already the entertainment industry’s answer to the Swiss Army Knife, has found yet another way to be more versatile. He has teamed up with Playhouse West to run his own acting school, Studio 4, at the Sherry Theater in Los Angeles. Studio 4 classes will be taught by Franco and additional guest teachers using the Meisner technique. The school offers twice weekly courses to train wannabe thesps in the Meisner technique as well as several advanced classes and projects following Franco’s creative visions. Playhouse West is the original home of Sanford Meisner’s Los Angeles classes he taught beginning in 1987 until the end of his teaching career. During this period, Meisner continued to evolve his technique adding new exercises and approaches. Studio 4 has adopted the Playhouse West unique approach that incorporates these innovations to Mr. Meisner’s work.

Studio 4 will weave in the work of Franco’s production company Rabbit Bandini Productions to create opportunities for students. Franco will use his influence to draw pros for Q&A sessions and hold scene nights in the studio. Students will also get to show their stuff in front of Franco and Rabbit Bandini will cast roles directly from his classes.

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Hot Trailer: James Franco In ‘Maladies’

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 11:00am PST

Just as James Franco announces that he’ll be running his own acting school, Tribeca Film has released a trailer for a film he stars in that premiered at Berlin last year. Maladies features Franco, Catherine Keener and Fallon Goodson as three people struggling to coexist together in a little house in a beach town, separated and bonded by their mental illnesses from the rest of the world. Written and directed by the single-named Carter, it co-stars David Strathairn and Alan Cumming. Tribeca Film will bow Maladies on March 21, followed by a VOD and iTunes release four days later. Have a look:

Watch this video on YouTube.

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