bryan cranston the masterpiece

James Franco is the human equivalent of the bus from Speed or the shark from that Annie Hall speech – if he stops moving, he dies. Or explodes. Or something. Only James Franco knows the mysteries of James Franco. What we do know is that he currently has 19 projects as an actor in various stages of production and 11 projects as a director in the pipeline. You have to admire the audacity of schedule like that, even if the sheer volume of work means that there are as many misses as there are hits.

One of those many, many films in the works is The Masterpiece, which tells the story of the making of Tommy Wiseau’s infamously terrible cult favorite, The Room. And while we still don’t know when this movie is coming out, we now know that Bryan Cranston is in it and he’s playing himself.

Franco spoke with the South China Morning Post (via The Playlist) about Why Him?, the new comedy starring him and Cranston, when he revealed that The Masterpiece would mark the third time the two of them have worked together:

It took eight months for [Why Him?] to go ahead and I asked Bryan to play Sheriff in In Dubious Battle, and then I directed The Masterpiece and he did that too. I asked if he would play himself, and he actually plays a version of himself from the early 2000s, so it’s Bryan Cranston from Malcolm in the Middle. It just speaks to his love of cinema that he supports his fellow artists.

Since Zach Braff will reportedly also play himself in the film and was starring in Scrubs while Cranston was on Malcolm in the Middle, it certainly sounds like The Masterpiece will delve into the early ’00s single camera sitcom scene. Okay. Sure. Why the hell not?

The Masterpiece is based on actor Greg Sestero’s The Disaster Artist, a deliriously entertaining trainwreck of a book that recounts the making of The Room and the insane behavior of its director and star, Tommy Wiseau. Of course, The Room would go on to become a massive cult favorite with an army of dedicated fans who continue to revel in its jaw-dropping terribleness. And while “liking” The Room stopped being cool a few years ago, the film remains a landmark of bad cinema – you really do have to see it to believe it.

In addition to directing the film, Franco will play Wiseau while Dave Franco plays Sestero. The impressive supporting cast includes Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver, Hannibal Buress, Andrew Santino, Zac Efron, Alison Brie, and Sharon Stone. We have yet to see a frame of footage from the film, but we have seen Franco in his Wiseau wig. Wiseau himself will reportedly have a cameo in the film.

The status of The Masterpiece remains unknown, but it sounds like a surefire contender to premiere at either Sundance or SXSW early next year.

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