If you consider yourself a fan of cinema, you should be somewhat familiar with Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 film The Room. It’s often cited as the worst movie ever made but since its release it has become something of a cult classic, with a large following of loyal fans who can quote every line and tell you how every scene will play out.
In 2013, one of The Room‘s stars, Greg Sestero, co-wrote a novel titled The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, which chronicles the making of the movie. Now, James Franco has optioned the novel and plans to direct an adaptation of it (off a script from Ryan Moody), with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg on board to produce. There’s also word that Franco and his brother Dave might star.
For those unfamiliar with The Disaster Artist, you check out the plot summary below:
Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau’s scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, “I have to do a scene with this guy.” That impulse changed both of their lives. Wiseau seemed never to have read the rule book on interpersonal relationships (or the instructions on a bottle of black hair dye), yet he generously offered to put the aspiring actor up in his LA apartment. Sestero’s nascent acting career first sizzled, then fizzled, resulting in Wiseau’s last-second offer to Sestero of costarring with him in The Room, a movie Wiseau wrote and planned to finance, produce, and direct—in the parking lot of a Hollywood equipment-rental shop.
Wiseau spent $6 million of his own money on his film, but despite the efforts of the disbelieving (and frequently fired) crew and embarrassed (and frequently fired) actors, the movie made no sense. Nevertheless, Wiseau rented a Hollywood billboard featuring his alarming headshot and staged a red carpet premiere. The Room made $1800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. One reviewer said that watching The Room was like “getting stabbed in the head.”
The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero’s laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon, with Wiseau himself beloved as an oddball celebrity. Written with award-winning journalist Tom Bissell, The Disaster Artist is an inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of an enigmatic man who will improbably capture your heart.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I haven’t seen The Room, but I’m well aware of its status as a cult classic and am somewhat familiar with the bizarre story surrounding the making of it. If there’s anyone that should be at the helm of this project, it’s definitely James Franco. He’s kind of an odd guy himself and I look forward to seeing what he can do with a tale as strange as the one presented to us in The Disaster Artist.