Pretty soon, entertainment publications will have reporters whose entire job it is to keep track of James Franco’s many endeavors. Producer Scott Rudin is the latest suitor to make a play for the actor-Oscar host-director-novelist-student-painter’s next available time-slot with an offer to star in his Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth.” Rudin has reportedly long been eager to cast Franco as Chance Wayne, a lowlife gigolo who seduces a washed-up movie star, Princess Kosmonopolis (Nicole Kidman) and returns to his home town to prove he’s not the screw-up he once was.
This is not the first starry production of the play. In 1962, the play was adapted into the much-heralded film of the same name, which starred Paul Newman and Geraldine Page as the quixotic leads and racked up a couple of supporting actor Oscar nods for Ed Begley and Geraldine Page.
Admittedly, the idea of Franco making his Broadway debut as a swaggering stud-for-hire is perfect to the point of seeming pre-ordained. Apparently the only hold-up is whether Franco can squeeze the rehearsals in between homework assignments once school’s back in session in the fall, when he begins his first year at Yale as a PHD student in English.
Given that he’s working toward a degree in literature, we’re guessing he might be able to finagle some special dispensation or even a little extra credit for playing a classic Tennessee Williams character on Broadway.