While James Franco hasn’t had any big successes as a director, you certainly can’t blame him for aiming high. He’s previously adapted the likes of William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy for the big screen, and now he’s taking on John Steinbeck with In Dubious Battle.
Here’s the synopsis: ‘Set in the orchards of California Valley in the dirty ’30s, Steinbeck’s tale follows two young idealists from “The Party” who are appalled by the orchards’ terrible working conditions and set out to organize the fruit pickers. Having arrived from out of town, Mac McLeod (Franco) and Jim Nolan (Nat Wolff) are met with skepticism and some outright hostility when they first suggest unionizing. Most of the pickers simply want to work and get paid, even if they are being mercilessly exploited. Mac and Jim realize that their progress depends on convincing local elder Al Anderson (Vincent D’Onofrio). He’s a hard nut, but could be won over after Mac helps his daughter-in-law, Lisa (Selena Gomez), when she goes into labour. Surrounding the two activists is a cast of eclectic characters with varying loyalties, among them the ruthless orchard owner (Robert Duvall), who is determined to crack down on any strike action.’
A trailer for the movie has now arrived, which you can watch below. The film debuts at the Venice International Film Festival, with a Toronto International Film Festival screening shortly afterwards. It’s not known when it will be released.