EXCLUSIVE: Add the short story Drunken Fireworks to the number of Stephen King-penned fictions making their way to the big screen. Rabbit Bandini Productions and Rubicon Entertainment have teamed on the drama, and James Franco is set to star. He possibly could direct as well, but that hasn’t yet been decided. The script is being written by Matt Rager, a frequent Franco collaborator whose credits include As I Lay Dying, The Sound And The Fury and the upcoming John Steinbeck novel adaptation In Dubious Battle, all of which Franco directed. Franco and his Rabbit Bandini partner Vince Jolivette will produce with Doug McKay, Robert Kaplan, Marc Senter and Nathan Grubbs of Rubicon.
Drunken Fireworks is a darkly comic tale of a blue-collar mechanic and a retired mob boss who go head to head in an increasingly antagonistic annual Fourth of July fireworks competition. The tale is set in small-town rural Maine, where local good ol’ boy Alden McCausland (Franco) strikes up a rivalry with retired mob boss Nicky Serrano when Nicky moves in across the lake from Alden and his mother. When Nicky bests Alden’s Fourth of July fireworks show, Alden goes to great lengths to ensure that he beats Nicky the next year in a competition known henceforth as the “Fourth of July Arms Race.”
Rabbit Bandini is in production on the postapocalyptic thriller Future World, directed by Franco and starring Milla Jovovich, Lucy Liu, Snoop Dogg and Franco. Currently in postproduction is The Masterpiece with New Line Cinema, also directed by and starring Franco. He also stars in Fox’s Why Him with Bryan Cranston.
Rubicon is an upstart production company formed by McKay, Kaplan, Senter and Grubbs that raised a substantial development fund to hatch projects. This becomes their first major project. Franco and Rabbit Bandini are repped by CAA; Rager is repped by APA, Thruline and Jackaway Tyerman Wertheimer. King is repped by Paradigm.