Many moons ago (i.e., last summer) a story broke about James Franco‘s deal to play Allen Ginsberg in a Gus Van Sant-produced biopic called Howl. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman were announced as the co-directors and co-writers of the drama, which will mainly be about the obscenity trial that followed the 1957 publication of “Howl,” Ginsberg’s legendary poem. The film will begin shooting just a few days from now.
James Franco (l.), the youthful Allen Ginsberg (r.)
I happened to reconsider the Howl project after reading Roger Friedman‘s story today about Franco having sold a collection of short stories to the Simon & Schuster guys.
Not be a stickler, but if you’re being cast to play a famous person aren’t you expected to sort of resemble him or her? At least somewhat? And shouldn’t it bother someone besides myself that Franco doesn’t look anything like Ginsberg did in the mid ’50s? As in no fucking resemblance whatsoever?
The only way Franco could look more unlike the young Ginsberg would be if he was Asian-American, African-American, a native of Tonga or an Aborigine. As is, Franco could probably make it into the finals of the annual “I don’t look the least fucking bit like Allen Ginsberg” competition that has reportedly been staged each and every year in Oslo, Sweden, since the early ’60s.
Which famous ’50s guy does Franco resemble? Well, if you dyed his hair black he might pass for Farley Granger. He could star in a biopic about Heath Ledger, I suppose.