'Spider-Man' thesp in negotiations to join Bratt actioner

James Franco is negotiating to star with Benjamin Bratt in “The Great Raid,” the Miramax WWII actioner helmed by John Dahl from a script rewritten by Hossein Amini (“The Wings of the Dove”).

Based on a true story about Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s secret raid on a POW camp to free 500 Americans facing death, the film is set in the Philippines in 1945. Bratt plays the leader of the mission, and Franco is the first of several prominent castings expected in the next few weeks.

Franco, who won a Golden Globe for his performance in the title role of “James Dean,” is coming off a supporting role as the Green Goblin’s son in “Spider-Man.” Though the groundwork has been laid for a return as the wallcrawler’s new nemesis, Franco’s participation in the sequel, to shoot in January, hasn’t been confirmed. He’ll next be seen in the Robert De Niro starrer “City by the Sea” and Nicolas Cage’s directorial debut, “Sonny.”

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