James Franco has shut down a play about himself - NME
James Franco has shut down a play about himself.
James Franco and Me was set to premiere at New York’s People’s Improv Theatre in August, but the actor and his lawyers had other ideas.
Kevin Broccoli, the writer of the play, received a cease-and-desist letter from Franco’s legal team, forcing him to cancel the performance, which he would also star in. Broccoli plays himself in the piece.
The play sees him in a hospital waiting room attending to his dying father. A fictional Franco joins him for a conversation about life and death.
The show ran for three weeks in Rhode Island without any legal trouble. During those performances, 13 different people played Franco. None of those actors undertaking the role rehearsed with Broccoli before the show.
Speaking to the New York Times, Broccoli said: “I was a little disappointed. I’m not someone who’s trying to get into legal entanglements by any means, but anyone who comes to see the show would see that it’s totally satire and within fair use guidelines.
“I’ve always been kind of fascinated with [Franco] because of how much product he puts out,” he continued. “The play is about mortality and making the most of what you have. I imagined that if anyone would be game for this it’d be him.”
The playwright is planning to host a one-off performance of the show in Cranston, Rhode Island on August 12, when the show will be titled ____ And Me. He will not take up his own role until the play is able to air in New York.
“I’m still really hoping it’ll work out,” he explained. “We’re not done by any means.”