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What’s next for James Franco and Danny Boyle?

September 14, 2010

FILM-TORONTO/With Danny Boyle’s new film “127 Hours” already garnering early buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival, what’s next for the Oscar-winning director and his prolific and busy star, James Franco?

Franco, who strolled into an interview on Sunday with photocopied pages of course reading material on early film history (he started a Ph.D program at Yale University this fall in English and film studies), told Reuters he will be directing a new project: “I’m developing something with Fox Searchlight, which will probably be shot next summer.”

Franco’s packed calendar of upcoming releases include “Howl” (playing poet Allen Ginsberg) and “Saturday Night”, a behind-the-scenes documentary on “Saturday Night Live”, which was picked up by Oscilloscope Laboratories recently.

The documentary began as a class project that evolved into a full-length feature when Franco was given unprecedented access to the long-running NBC sketch comedy. But NBC wasn’t keen on a theatrical release at first, however.

“I don’t know why because it shows the show in a good light. I’m not trying to reveal the dark side of Saturday Night Live,” Franco joked during a press conference for “127 Hours” at the festival.

Franco, who is carving a distinct and varied career trajectory (he’s played everything from a villain in Sam Raimi’s blockbuster “Spider-Man” trilogy to recently filming 41 episodes of the soap opera “General Hospital”) said he has “some very strange film projects” he’s working on that he wouldn’t even really call films as they need a different outlet.

“For now, I’ll be in school. It’s pretty demanding. I’m driving back there tonight after the screening and the dinner.”

Meanwhile, Boyle, the director of “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Trainspotting”, will be embarking on slightly different projects from his usual directorial efforts in the near future. His next project is a stage adaptation of “Frankenstein” set to open next February and he will also be directing the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

(Caption: Actor James Franco attends a news conference to promote the film “127 Hours” during the 35th Toronto International Film Festival September 12, 2010.  REUTERS/Fred Thornhill)

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