For almost the past 20 years James Franco has given us so many memorable and diverse performances. He got his breakthrough role in 1999 in the now cult-classic comedy-drama TV series ‘Freaks and Geeks’ (1999-2000). People then took notice of his acting prowess in the biographic television film ‘James Dean’ (2001) for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor. Not only did Franco possess an uncanny resemblance as that of the legendary actor but also captured his mannerisms and the essence of his character quite well. Franco gained worldwide recognition for his role Harry Osborne – Peter Parker’s best friend in Sam Raimi’s ‘Spiderman’ trilogy (2002-2006).
Since then, he’s acted in a wide variety of movies like Tony Hill’s war drama ‘Flyboys’ (2006), Gus Van Sant’s biographical film ‘Milk’ (2008) portraying Sean Penn’s character’s gay romantic partner and the very successful and critically acclaimed ‘Rise of the Planet of Apes’ (2011). Franco is also well known for his long-time collaboration with good friend Seth Rogen with films like the stoner action comedy film ‘The Pineapple Express’ (2008), playing himself along a talented ensemble cast in the disaster action comedy film ‘This Is the End’ (2013) and the very controversial comedy film ‘The Interview’ (2014). He’s also appeared in other films like ‘Oz the Great And Powerful’ (2013), the mystery thriller ‘True Story’ (2014), ‘Why Him?’ (2016).
It’s no surprise to note that James Franco is a method actor and takes each and every role very seriously. This was indicated in Danny Boyle’s survival thriller ‘127 Hours’ (2011), based on the memoir of outdoor adventurer Aaron Ralston about how he survived for five days trapped by a boulder in an isolated slot canyon Blue John Canyon in Southeastern Utah. What Franco did so well was possessing the fun-loving and care-free charisma of Ralston and the slowly breaks that shell and shows his human fragility. Watch how his face carries so many varied emotions like despair, desperation and anger being conveyed to the audience as he tries to find a miraculous way out of being trapped from that boulder. For such a compelling performance, he was nominated for his first Oscar. He also did some outlandish work portraying a rapper/arms and drug dealer in ‘Spring Breakers’ (2012). His performance in this movie was so dark, uncomfortable and for the most part hilarious as he succeeds in playing a narcissistic and insane character, making audiences unsure as to whether to be uncomfortable or laugh. His likeability is what carries the film through.
But his best performance till date has to be in ‘The Disaster Artist’ (2017) -an adaptation of Greg Sestero’s book of the same name where he plays the very mysterious and eccentric Tommy Wiseau. The remarkable feat of Franco lies in the fact he directed, produced and acted as the main lead Tommy Wiseau who also directed, produced and starred as the lead in the cult-favourite ‘The Room’ (2003). Franco does a terrific job capturing the bizarre and quirkiness nature of Wiseau as a guy who just wants to make a mark in the Hollywood industry and makes a film so bad (that it’s good) despite the fact it tanked at the box office and got the lowest ratings by all the critics. For his performance, he was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama/Musical.
At this point, the question that might be circling your mind is what is the next James Franco movie? Well, the good news is that we have a clear answer to that question. Here’s the list of upcoming James Franco films as an actor and a director scheduled to release in 2018, 2019 and beyond. We can only hope that the new James Franco movie would be as good as some of his latest ones.