Casting Net: James Franco to direct and star in biopic 'Beautiful People.' Plus: Liam Neeson lands action pic, Paul Dano to play Beach Boys' Brian Wilson

James-Franco

Image Credit: Danny Martindale/FilmMagic

James Franco is taking a break from his life of leisure and and media underexposure to star in and direct Beautiful People, a biopic about Jay Sebring, who built a hairstyling empire in the 1960s. He was also something of a famous international gadabout, including a romance with actress Sharon Tate, which eventually became platonic. Sebring was killed along with Tate in the infamous Manson Family murders, though it’s not clear if the screenplay by first-timer Lauren Wild includes that sad chapter of Sebring’s life. [Deadline]

• Liam Neeson, action star extraordinaire, is set to star in Run All Night, about a mob hitman who finds himself having to protect his estranged family from his old boss. Things likely won’t end well for the old boss. Director Jaume Collet-Sera, who helmed Neeson’s Unknown and the upcoming Non-Stop, is in talks to take the reins of this project as well. Brad Ingelsby, who penned the upcoming Christian Bale thriller Out of the Fire, wrote the script. [Deadline]

• Paul Dano will star in Love & Mercy, playing the younger version of Brian Wilson in a impressionistic biopic that spans the majority of the troubled Beach Boys star’s life. (No actor has been cast yet to play the older Wilson.) Film producer Bil Pohlad (The Tree of LifeInto the Wild) will direct the film, from a script by Oren Moverman (RampartThe Messenger). [THR]

Read more:
Casting Net: Al Pacino and Brian De Palma to tell Penn State coach Joe Paterno’s story. Plus: Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino, Dylan McDermott
Casting Net: Bradley Cooper attached to WWI thriller ‘Dark Invasion.’ Plus: Anne Hathaway, Jerry Lewis, Billy Campbell
Casting Net: Louis C.K. aiming to team up with director David O. Russell


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