James Franco continues to blaze the most unusual career path, though unlike Joaquin Phoenix’s bizarre hip hop foray, Franco’s eclectic moves seem to be leading somewhere. Oscilloscope Laboratories has just acquired Saturday Night, Franco’s feature docu directorial debut that follows a week in the making of an episode of Saturday Night Live, one that was hosted by John Malkovich.
The film begins with the show’s Tuesday morning pitch meeting, and Franco’s cameras follow the writers and actors through all the coffee-fueled late night writing and rehearsal sessions, as gags are rejected and embraced. The film concludes after the show’s closing credits, to give a sense of what goes into the weekly live program. Is there enough here for a feature? Oscilloscope chief and Beastie Boy Adam Yauch sure thinks so.
“SNL is my mother fuckin’ shit, and James is my mother fuckin’ man,” Yauch opined. Franco called Yauch an inspiration since the actor was 16 and listening to Yauch’s raps. “Everyone at Rabbit Bandini is extremely excited to be working with Oscilloscope, one of the coolest companies in the industry.”
The film, produced by Franco’s Rabbit Bandini cohorts Miles Levy and Vince Jolivette, will be released early next year. It debuted at SXSW. Franco met Yauch when the latter acquired Howl, in which Franco plays Allen Ginsberg. That film will be released in theaters and VOD on September 24.
Separately, Franco is screening his short film The Clerks Tale in competition at the Hamptons International Film Festival, and he is getting awards season buzz for his role as hiker Aron Ralston in the Danny Boyle-directed 127 Hours. Franco, who reprised the role of an evil performance artist, Franco in General Hospital over the summer, found time to star in the Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes, which 20th Century Fox releases June 24, 2011.