James Franco’s The Disaster Artist is the week’s surprise hit, and as it gears up to go into wide release this coming weekend, Franco’s already preparing for his next projects. In addition to the Shel Silverstein biopic he’ll be directing and starring in, Franco plans to produce a Multiple Man movie with Fox. Following in the footsteps of Logan and Deadpool, Franco plans to make his Multiple Man R-rated, according to an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Franco was quoted as saying:
“I do have a superhero that I am developing,” Franco said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t know how much I can say. But I will say I am producing and performing in it. It’s early stages. I think probably what I can say is, like anything, there’s a need to develop more.”
“Our bottom line M.O. is, how can we push this into new ground? A little bit, but still make it entertaining?” Franco said. “[But] what I love about what Simon Kinberg and Fox and the X-Men people have done with Deadpool and Logan — it took a while to get there, maybe 10 years — but they are going to go hard R. And we’re going to take this superhero thing and really just push it into a new genre. So we’re working with Simon Kinberg on an X-Men property.”
And, according to CBR, a brief history of Multiple Man:
Created by Len Wein, Chris Claremont and John Buscema for 1975’s Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4, the Multiple Man was a recurring character in Uncanny X-Men throughout the ’80s before landing a starring role in Peter David and Larry Stroman’s fan-favorite X-Factor run of the ’90s. Fading away in the late ’90s to early ’00s, the character rose to prominence yet again in the mid-’00s after starring in a Marvel MAX miniseries, simply titled Madrox, again under the pen of David.
Multiple Man (a.k.a. Jamie Madrox) was first featured in Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand, played by Eric Dane. Unfortunately, the character didn’t really make much of an impression – and neither did The Last Stand – leading Fox to not have Dane reprise the role in future films. However, I think a presence like Franco’s could actually be good for an on-screen adaptation, especially with the benefit of an R-rating.
It’s interesting that Franco is returning to superhero movies a full decade after Spider-Man 3, his last foray into the genre. Playing Harry Osborn was a major turning point in his career, but it almost seems weird to think of James Franco in a superhero movie now seeing the direction his career went in after Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy ended in 2007 (The Green Hornet kind of counts but not really). It’d be even crazier if Franco decided to direct it, as well. He’s been pretty fearless about the movies he chooses to helm, and directing The Disaster Artist has definitely given him some more clout in the mainstream as an actor and a filmmaker.
Multiple Man is one to look out for. But, in the meantime, Deadpool 2 hits theaters on June 1st, 2018.
Images: Hulu, Marvel Comics, Sony