James Franco needs to take a holiday or he’s going to burn himself out. It seems that every day there’s news of another project he’s linked to, and while many stars sign up for things and then drop out, Franco actually makes most of his. The lastest news is that he’s signed on to play controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe in a new biopic, according to THR.
It’s another gay cultural icon for Franco, after Allen Ginsberg in Howl and Hart Crane in The Broken Tower. Mapplethorpe, who died of AIDS at the age of 42 in 1989, was extremely controversial as his photographs often depicted acts of bondage, sadomasochism, and gay sexuality. He was also known for taking photographs of celebrities, including Andy Warhol, Richard Gere, Grace Jones, Peter Gabriel and Patti Smith. Mapplethorpe’s work often raised questions about public funding of art and the line that separates art and obscenity.
The film will be mark narrative debut of documentary filmmaker Ondi Timoner. Originally the movie was being set up to star Nate Dushku, brother of Eliza, who’ve been spearheading the project, however it seems it needed a little more star power to get made. So does this mean Franco will be recreating Mapplethorpe fames photograph of himself with a whip handle up his butt?
It’s not the only movie about Mapplethorpe in the works, as Patti Smith is working on an adaptation of her memoir, Just Kids, about her the artist’s friendship before either of them became famous. There’s no news on when either movie might get made.