Sometimes, it’s worth remembering that even though James Franco’s hyper-prolific approach to “art” garners a lot of eye rolls, his ceaseless work ethic admirable. He’s even prolific in the less-heralded corners of his acting/writing/directing career — namely, the latter category. In the past three years alone, he’s helmed two William Faulkner adaptations (As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury), another of Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God, a Charles Bukowski biopic, the Cruising reinterpretation Interior. Leather Bar., and two episodes of the Hulu series 11.22.63.
And we’ll just add In Dubious Battle to the ever-growing list. Based on a 1936 novel by John Steinbeck, Battle tells the story of a California orchard thrown into upheaval when the migrant workers tending the fields start a labor dispute with their abusive landowners. Franco co-stars with Nat Wolff, Selena Gomez, Bryan Cranston, Ed Harris, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, and a host of other familiar faces in a film sure to both continue its filmmaker’s creative reign and doubtlessly assist disinterested high schoolers the nation over with their fall English projects.
The film is premiering next week at the Venice Film Festival before hitting other fests this fall. A proper release date has yet to be determined, but you can catch the trailer above.