Few celebrities can boast as many projects in the works as James Franco. The actor/director/perpetual college student/writer has his hand in just about everything these days, so it's not surprising that he's planning on directing a new feature film adaptation. According to Variety, James Franco will produce and direct The Long Home, an adaptation of William Gay's novel of the same name. Though it's not at all shocking to hear that Franco will direct another novel adaptation after his directorial effort with William Faulkner's The Sound And The Fury, Franco's reasons for adapting this Gay's novel feel particularly personal.
Gay's novel is about a young Tennessee carpenter who loses his father at the hands of a "human evil," which could be the reason why Franco chose to take this project on. Franco has spoken publicly about the death of his own father, who passed away at age 63 in 2011, and has said that it has fueled many of his creative endeavors. Franco turned to poetry to channel his grief, and recently released a music video for his Motown-inspired song "Can't Say Goodbye," which was inspired by the death of his father and features home movies of Franco and his family. Franco told MTV:
It’s such a weird thing to lose a parent. And to have it happen when I was in the middle of a movie... It just made this strange situation even more difficult to deal with in some ways. I kind of tucked it away to deal with it later emotionally. But one of the great things I found was in this song, and then some other projects that I was doing, I could kind of deal with it that way. I could deal with it with creative pursuits. It seemed like the best and easiest way to grieve.
Franco is using his talents to work through his grief, and it seems that The Long Home could be another way for him to explore his emotions about his father's death through the medium of film. Franco doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon, so hopefully directing this work is the cathartic release he craves.