James Franco To Play Acclaimed Photographer Mapplethorpe

Future generations are going to look back and wonder “Why did everyone famous look like James Franco?” He’s played seminal beat poet Allen Ginsberg in Howl, tenacious rock climber Aron Ralston in 127 Hours and last year there were rumblings that he was interested in played the serial killer known as The Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez as well as a notable role in the biopic of porn star Linda Lovelace.

Well, now he’s looking at playing Robert Mapplethorpe, a photographer famous for his massive black and white portraits, nudes and images of flowers. He unsurprisingly generated quite a lot of controversy especially over public funding for the arts and censorship (something that seems dear to Franco’s heart after Howl). He’s also known for creating iconic images of other celebrities including Andy Warhol, Deborah Harry, Richard Gere, Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, and Patti Smith.

The film’s been in development since 2009 with Eliza Dushku and her brother Nate at the forefront of the project. Nate had initially intended to star but it seems that Franco will now fill in that role. It’s also picked up a director in the shape of documentary maker Ondi Timoner who has the honour of being the only person to win the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes twice. It’s also just picked up an extra $15,000 from the Tribeca All Access Program so it looks like it’s definitely going to be made soon.

No news on shooting schedule yet, but watch this space.