Oh, hi, James Franco! The veteran thespian is officially directing a movie about the making of The Room, the absurd, so-bad-it’s-transcendently-good 2003 cult classic written and directed by Tommy Wiseau. According to Deadline, Franco has acquired the rights to the behind-the-scenes memoir The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, co-written by Greg Sestero (who played Mark in the film) and journalist Tom Bissell.
With its bizarre dialogue, plethora of red herrings and plotholes and — most crucially — Wiseau’s hilariously magnetic lead performance, The Room has gained a reputation as the worst (and, to some, most amazing) film ever made. After its initial release in Southern California, the project subsequently earned a word-of-mouth cult following, earning regular screenings and various speaking engagements for Wiseau and the cast.
Sestero’s book weaves together two timelines, chronicling his own rocky friendship with Wisueau alongside his quest to become an actor in Hollywood. The actor/author spoke about the project to Rolling Stone in October: “I felt really strongly about the story,” he said. “The only way to tell how this thing went down – the good, the bad, the ugly and the inspiring parts – was to write it and explain how it all happened. Really, when you read this book you can walk away with a great laugh, which we all need these days. It’s weirdly inspiring that Tommy had all the odds against him, but he didn’t take no for an answer.”
Franco is a natural choice to adapt the project, given his fascination with The Disaster Artist, which he reviewed in December for Vice. In the review, he praised the book for its inspirational qualities, describing the enigmatic Wiseau as “part vampire, part Hollywood dreamer, part gangster, part Ed Wood and super lonely.”
In his review, Franco wrote that the book is “both a great portrayal of hopefuls coming to Los Angeles to pursue their ambitions, and an even greater examination of what it means to be a creative person with a dream, and trying to make it come true in a form that is just as much a business, and an insider social group, as it is an art.”
Sestero, for his part, seemed pleased with the news. “James Franco, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are the ideal guys to adapt The Disaster Artist,” Sestero told EW. The film’s release date and cast has yet to be confirmed.