James Franco to Engage ‘In Dubious Battle’ With All-Star Cast

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

James Franco has set his sights on the next project he’ll be directing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor/director/producer will be helming an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle. And he’s assembled a cast of top notch actors. Already signed on to the project are Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Danny McBride, Bryan Cranston, Ed Harris and Rober Duvall.

The novel centers on a labor conflict between migrant apple pickers and the local growers’ association. Amidst this conflict, Jim Nolan (Franco) becomes involved in the labor movement and learns what it means to do organizational fieldwork. It was published in 1936 and considered to be Steinbeck’s first major work. It contained many themes that the author would continue to develop throughout his career including group behavior, social injustice and man’s indifference to his fellow man.

Franco is no stranger to working with classic material. He’s recently adapted William Faulkner’s The Sound And The Fury and As I Lay Dying, Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God and Steve Erickson’s Zeroville. While these films don’t always turn out to be masterpieces, at least the actor is trying to mix up his body of work. It’s almost like for every three or four “stoner films” or commercial movies he makes he tries to do something that challenges him in some way.

Filming on In Dubious Battle is set to begin in March.

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