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James Franco to Direct and Star in Biopic About Artist Shel Silverstein

James Franco is in talks to direct and star in a film about prolific children’s book author, cartoonist, and lyricist Shel Silverstein.

Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair will pen the adaptation based on Lisa Rogak’s book “A Boy Named Shel.”

MWM Studios, formerly known as OddLot Entertainment, will produce along with McG and Mary Viola’s production company, Wonderland Sound and Vision. MWM will also co-finance.

Franco and Vince Jolivette will exec produce through Rowena Films, along with Adrian Alperovich for MWM Studios. Stacy Keppler will co-produce with Sean Sorensen.

Silverstein was also a poet, singer, songwriter, and screenwriter. His work was translated into more then 30 languages and sold over 20 million copies. The film will focus not only on his struggles professionally, but personally as well, and trace how he became the iconic author he is today.

Franco is set to start his awards campaign for his dramedy “The Disaster Artist,” which details the making of the now-cult-classic “The Room.” The film and Franco are expected to be Oscar contenders.

He is also coming off strong reviews for the HBO series “The Deuce,” which was just picked up for a second season by the network. He is repped by UTA and Anonymous Content.

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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