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James Franco In Talks to Direct and Star in Biopic of ‘Giving Tree’ Author

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James Franco may follow up The Disaster Artist with A Boy Named Shel, a biopic about The Giving Tree author Shel Silverstein.

Franco is in talks to direct and star in the movie, according to Deadline. Chris Shafer & Paul Vicknair (Playing it Cool) are said to be adapting Lisa Rogak’s 2007 biography A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein for the script.

Silverstein was a children’s author, songwriter, playwright, and Playboy cartoonist. Aside from writing books like The Giving Tree and The Missing Piece, he wrote songs for the likes of Johnny Cash and Dr. Hook. “A Boy Named Sue” by Cash won Silverstein a Grammy for Best Country Song in 1969 and the Meryl Streep-performed “I’m Checkin Out” from the movie Postcards on the Edge scored him Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. He died of a heart attack in 1999 at 68 years old.

Franco, meanwhile, is earning raves for The Disaster Artist. He’s received a Best Actor award from the Gotham Awards, runner-up from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and a nomination from the Film Independent Spirit Awards. The movie, which he also directed, earned over $1.2 million from just 19 theaters since it opened on Friday. That $64k per theater is the fifth best average of 2017 and 74th of all-time.

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