James Franco is not happy, and the source of his unhappiness is the recently announce Spring Breakers sequel that was recently announced by Wild Bunch.
Franco had the following to say in a caption to an Instagram picture (you can see the page here):
STATEMENT ABOUT SPRING BREAKERS 2: This is not being done with [director] Harmony Korine or my consent. The original was wholly Harmony’s creation and these producers are capitalizing on that innovative film to make money on a weak sequel. I want everyone to know that whoever is involved in the sequel is jumping on board a poison ship. It will be a terrible film, with a horrible reason d’être: to make money off someone else’s creativity. Can you imagine someone making the sequel to “Taxi Driver” without Scorcese [sic] and DeNiro’s consents? Insanity! I’m speaking up for Harmony and his original vision and for any creative person who cares about preserving artistic integrity.
Yes, so not happy at all. We suggested in our original coverage that the apt comparison might be Mean Girls to Mean Girls 2, and it seems clear Franco also believes something similar is happening here.
It’s a little reminiscent of last summer, when Jim Carrey ripped into Kick-Ass 2 for its excessive violence just a couple months prior to release. The difference, of course, is that Franco isn’t piling onto a film he’s already finished shooting, but rather blasting the studio for trying “to make money off someone else’s creativity.” The comparison to Taxi Driver might seem a bit self-serving to some, but despite the fact that Spring Breakers was only a moderate commercial success, more than a few critics found its discussion of modern American materialism and party/celebrity culture poignant.
It’s too early to say if Franco will be proven right or not; the enigmatic star has had a few misfires in the name of high art and his hyperreal personality frequently needs to be taken with a grain of salt. That said, the fact that we now have confirmation that neither Franco nor Korine has anything to do with the sequel doesn’t exactly bode well for it. We’ll have to see what happens in the coming months as it moves nearer to production.