Back in 2003, Tommy Wiseau wrote, produced, directed, and starred in The Room despite knowing virtually nothing about filmmaking. The film was immediately skewered by the critics as one of the worst films ever made, and since has garnered a cult following, becoming a popular midnight movie. As is the case with many of these films, the making of The Room proved just as insane and entertaining as the film itself. The antics of amateur filmmaker Wiseau were catalogued in the memoir by The Room co-star Greg Sestero titled The Disaster Artist.
Adding to his lengthy list of projects, James Franco has just purchased the rights to the memoir and plans to direct the film version of The Disaster Artist. Franco will star alongside his brother, Dave. The details are all still vague but it’s assumed James Franco will play the enigmatic director, Tommy Wiseau. The film will be produced by Franco, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen; Ryan Moody is providing the script.
Franco has directed a number of low budget films with moderate degrees of success. His Hart Crane biopic, The Broken Tower felt like a film student’s senior thesis, probably because it was, and his last two films, adaptations of Faulkner’s As I lay Dying, and Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God, received mixed reviews. The Disaster Artist pulls away from the literary roots of his early films and suggests this effort might have wider appeal. It also doesn’t hurt that the true story behind the film is so insane that it would almost be difficult to turn in an un-entertaining film.
This Disaster Artist boasts much of the same creative talent behind last year’s This Is The End, which successfully lampooned Hollywood idolatry and the overbearing egos that fuel the film industry. We can only hope that Franco’s film harnesses that same energy and enthusiasm to tell the story of the worst film ever made.
To give an idea of what kind of film The Room is, here’s the theatrical trailer.