James Franco on hot streak

Actor in talks for 'Highness,' has offer for 'Eat Pray Love'

By Borys Kit
James Franco is so much in demand that the actor is reluctantly saying no to some of the biggest movie projects in town.

Franco is in final negotiations to star opposite Danny McBride in "Your Highness," a comedy for Universal that David Gordon Green is shooting in the summer in Northern Ireland.

He also was in talks to join Leonardo DiCaprio in "Inception," Christopher Nolan's sci-fi thriller at Warner Bros. But on Tuesday, it became evident that the timetable would not work out since "Inception" also is due to shoot in the summer.

Franco additionally has an offer for a role opposite Julia Roberts in "Eat Pray Love," a Plan B drama at Columbia, though it's unclear how that project would fit into his schedule, which includes taking classes for his master's degree at Columbia University.

On "Highness," Franco would reteam with his co-star and director of "Pineapple Express," last year's action comedy that grossed $87 million. "Highness," written by Ben Best and McBride, centers on an arrogant, lazy prince (McBride) who must complete a quest to save his father's kingdom.

Franco would play McBride's more heroic brother, who joins the prince on the quest.

Scott Stuber is producing via his Stuber Prods. banner.

"Highness" begins shooting in late July.

It is unclear what role Franco would have played in "Inception"; in keeping with most things associated with Nolan's project, the part and detailed logline were being kept under wraps.

However his to-do list shakes out, Franco is continuing a hot streak that contrasts with where he stood just a few years ago. With the exception of his work in the "Spider-Man" movies, such films as "Annapolis," "Flyboys" and "In the Valley of Elah" were not getting traction from audiences or critics.

That changed in the summer with "Pineapple," which paired him with Seth Rogen and McBride and earned him a Golden Globe nomination. In the fall, he co-starred in the awards favorite "Milk," which garnered a SAG nomination for outstanding performance by a cast.

He reprised his "Pineapple" character for a gag that was among the highlights of February's Oscar telecast.

Franco is repped by Endeavor and James/Levy Management.
    Share on LinkedIn