James Franco might be one of the busiest guys in Hollywood, having appeared or taken major roles in half a dozen films and TV episodes in 2010. This is in addition to his long history of nearly superhuman productivity, which saw him maintaining a solid Hollywood career while simultaneously attending half a dozen prestigious universities to obtain post-graduate degrees. He’ll next be seen hosting the Oscars and possibly even accepting an award, as he was announced as a Best Actor nominee this morning (he wouldn’t be the first host to accept a golden statue- Walter Matthau, Michael Caine, and David Niven have all hosted while nominated, and Niven even won). In any event, Franco’s streak will certainly continue into this new year as he’s got at least three possible directorial projects he’s circling and countless acting possibilities- the latest of which is as the pornographer that guided Linda Lovelace into the industry.
Kate Hudson is the starlet named as the hopeful lead of Lovelace, a biopic adaptation of the novel The Complete Linda Lovelace, and Franco would star opposite (and on top of) her as Chuck Traynor- who might be one of the most insidious pieces of shit of all time.
Traynor was actually married to two porn queens, Lovelace and Marilyn Chambers, but it was his role in the life of the former that gained him whatever notoriety he had. After she got out of porn, Linda accused him of a wide range of abuse that involved forcing her to be involved in gangbangs at gun-point, routine beatings, and other slave master-like exploitation, and much of it was corroborated by others or confirmed via lie-detector tests. His abuse affected Lovelace and her family to the point that the Linda’s sister once lamented that Traynor died before she could kill him.
If Franco joins up with the project, he’ll be reuniting with the team behind Howl, including Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. There is competition though, as the long-gestating Inferno, which dropped Lindsay Lohan in favor of Malin Ackerman in November, is another project based on Lovelace that is on the search for funding. Deadline specifically states that both are “struggling” to find funding, and considering Inferno is being made from a Blacklisted script and has been searching for much longer, I imagine it’s difficulties will be extra applicable to Lovelace. Franco is an increasingly huge star though, and along with Kate Hudson’s name this newest project could demand enough attention to find investors.
Franco will be busy and visible whether this gets off the ground or not. The actor has Your Highness this summer, Rise of the Apes later in the year and whatever else he squeezes out in 2011.
Finally, if you’d like to see the actor make out with himself (from the superb “Actor’s Acting” series in the NYT), have at it below…
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