James Franco will make his Broadway debut in an upcoming revival of “Of Mice and Men.”
Though no official announcement has been made about this latest production, Franco said he would be starring as George in the play when speaking to Stephen Colbert during “The Colbert Report” on March 5. No other casting has yet been announced, including George’s mentally-challenged friend Lennie, though Franco has ideas for another character.
“I’m going to,” Franco said when Colbert asked him if he did theater. “We’re going to do ‘Of Mice and Men’ on Broadway. There’s a character Slim, we haven’t cast it yet. You could do it.”
The play is based on the classic 1937 novel by John Steinbeck, who also wrote the stage adaptation that premiered on Broadway the same year. The first revival was staged in 1974.
It has been reported that producer Tom Kirdahy, known for his work on “Ragtime,” has been working on a new production of the play for a few years, though this has not been confirmed.
Though best known as an actor, Franco also has worked as a director, poet, short story writer and host of the Academy Awards. He first became known around the turn of the century for his roles in Judd Apatow’s cult hit “Freaks and Geeks” and for playing the title character in the TV movie “James Dean.” Since then, he has starred in movies including “127 Hours,” “Pineapple Express,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Tistan & Isolde.”
Franco was on “The Colbert Report” promoting his appearance in the upcoming film “Oz the Great and Powerful.” In the film, he plays Oscar Diggs, better known as the Wizard of Oz. That film serves as a prequel to the legendary 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” and also stars Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams.