‘Spring Breakers 2’ Producers: James Franco Is a Hypocrite (EXCLUSIVE)

'Spring Breakers 2’ Producers: James Franco

With their Muse Productions shingle hanging on such edgy fare as “American Psycho,” “Freeway,” “Buffalo 66” and “Spring Breakers,” producers Chris and Roberta Hanley are no strangers to controversy, however there’s something in the spring air this year that has gotten them more than their share of colorful press.

Earlier this month, former business partner on the Harmony Korine-directed hit pic “Spring Breakers” Wicks Walker sued Muse and fellow producer Jordan Gertner of Hero Entertainment for breach of contract.

This week, as the Hanleys and Gertner were landing in Cannes to start tubthumping several projects, including the upcoming sequel, “Spring Breakers: The Second Coming,” their star of the original picture took to Instagram to denounce the sequel as “not being done with Harmony Korine or my consent,” acidly adding, “it will be a horrible film.”

The Hanleys and Gertner spoke to Variety exclusively about this Franco dustup, giving back to Franco a little acid of their own.

“Let’s see if I can remember all of the sequels James has done,” laughed Chris Hanley, helpfully listing “‘The Great and Mighty Oz,’ ‘Spider Man,’ ‘Planet of the Apes'” while also noting “and he’s pushing hard to help set up the ‘Pineapple Express’ sequel.

“Franco is a sequel junkie in his own reality, embracing the too big to fail studio system that is his meal ticket to dilettante artistic side shows, while he glibly attacks real independent filmmakers dedicated to independent points of view,” he said of the actor.

“The next spring breakers will make the first one look like some Disney girls trying to get a new lease on life.”

On a more serious note, Hanley noted that the new film will be directed by “Spun” director Jonas Akerlund from an original screenplay by “Trainspotting” author Irvine Welsh. “These aren’t weak or lame artists” said Hanley “and I think our track record speaks for itself.” In Roberta’s view, “We’ve done nothing but smuggle important artists into Hollywood.” Stressing the new film as a fresh take, Gertner said “We had a great relationship with Harmony Korine and now we’re exploring a new incarnation of ‘Spring Breakers.'” Gertner also noted that Muse and Hero “have all rights to all prequels, sequels, remakes, animation spinoffs.” Citing the European legal terms for ownerships, Chris Hanley noted “We have the certificate of authorship for this work.”

Muse and various partners are also involved in a spate of equally edgy projects including their film adaptation of Martin Amis’s “London Fields” starring Amber Heard and featuring Johnny Depp, which has wrapped photography under direction of Mathew Cullen and will be ready for the fall festival season.

Other projects include spy thriller “An Expensive Education,” from the novel by Nick McDonell. Roberta Hanley wrote the screenplay and describes it as “the beginning of a great espionage franchise that explores present day high tech surveillance in great terrifying detail.” The producers are out to directors on “Education.”

And finally, perhaps fastest on the track to productions is their Cannes announcement of Michael Winterbottom’s new film “The Vatican Connection,” based upon the true story of NYPD Detective Joe Coffey. Orignal Edgar Allen Poe Prize-winning tome, chronicling a global trail of intrigue involving billions of dollars, Vatican bankers and a shadowy worldwide conspiracy, was penned by New York Times journalist Richard Hammer. Pic’s screenplay will be penned by “The Messenger” scribe Paul Viragh, working from a draft by Alessandro Camon.

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  1. max says:

    Actually a “Spring Breakers” sequel directed by Jonas Akerlund and written by Irvine Welsh sounds pretty amazing to my ears ! I liked the first one, but it has a rather weak screenplay and is only 60% of what it could have been. You see all the time, that they had big ambition, but too little money to make it real. Now with a bigger budget and a better screenplay this could be awesome. They will find someone else for the bad guy. Franco was good, but I don’t need to see him twice.

  2. in my opinion Alien was the best part of the movie so i just don’t see a second being as good with out him sure the T&A were nice but Aliens part is what made the movie interesting for me.

  3. Ken says:

    I hope Mr. Franco isn’t afraid that someone will attempt to make a sequel to INTERIOR: LEATHER BAR without his blessing or authorization. Because nobody will. Ever.

    • Franco No Hypocrite says:

      “Because nobody will. Ever.”, you never know? Apparently, anything goes nowadays. It won some awards, and I think Franco’s Production Company owes it, so hopefully not a problem in the future.

  4. Mike Durkin says:

    Oh James. The guy is and has been intimately involved in Hollywood and the business world. This isnt fantasy land. Ask the thousands and thousands of musicians who put their heart and soul into their music. Music they then sign over the rights to the record companies. Next thing you know, “Here comes the Sun” is in a mustard commercial!!! Yes it sucks but you dont own the rights anymore,you didnt get swindled or scammed. You willingly signed over your rights,now they can make sequels,or sometimes a sequel never gets made and should.(Blade Runner) Its theirs now,Korine didnt make a sound after signing over certificate of authorship. But……..then the film makes more money then expected ,then talk of sequel starts with potentially more money to be had and surprise surprise,James starts with the
    “not being done with Harmony Korine or my consent,” talk. Well James,hers a news flash for you,they dont need your consent. I dont need Toyota’s consent to go drive the Camry parked in my driveway……….know why…..because they dont own it anymore,I do!!!!!!!

    • Franco No Hypocrite says:

      “This isnt fantasy land.”, WOW and to think I thought it was.

      “You willingly signed over your rights, now they can make sequels, or sometimes a sequel never gets made and should.(Blade Runner) “, you mean Korine did. I think Franco’s mainly sticking up for him.

      I’m sorry you lost me when you said Blade Runner SHOULD be made. Another unnecessary sequel but at least they have offered the chance for Harrison Ford to be part of it as he was apparently quoted as stating “quite curious and excited about seeing a new script” and “very anxious to work with [director] Ridley Scott again.” Oh, look same actor and director will be involved plus it’s 32 years apart from the original, so at least it will be nice and fresh to some new audiences and not so soon.

      Some people are still trying to figure out what the first Spring Breakers was about without a need for a second one . I believe, there are some movies that shouldn’t be made at all and this is one of them.

      “Its theirs now, Korine didn’t make a sound after signing over certificate of authorship.”, I can’t disagree with YOU there because I stated in my original post “It’s clearly Harmony Korine fault for giving away his original property concept away”, as for Franco be careful what you wish for “Spring Break forever, y’all” and now the possible “all rights to all prequels, sequels, remakes, animation spinoffs.”, I bet he’s thinking don’t “Look At My Sh*t” to the 2 Production companies but audience continue – awesome movie.

      “Well James, hears a news flash for you, they don’t need your consent. I don’t need Toyota’s consent to go drive the Camry parked in my driveway……….know why…..because they don’t own it anymore, I do!!!!!!!”, seriously, you CAN afford a Camry? Yes, I’m not sure what Franco or Korine can legally do but clearly Franco felt it necessary to voice his opinion (better out then in – sometimes less stress) and in time I’m sure he will move on (learn from this – own all your sh*t and trust no one 100%). The only person who should be truly gutted is Korine but as you stated if he signed over the certificate of authorship then what did he expect?

      Why can’t studios make movies that are truly great and leave it at that, without the need to always water it down. I know sometimes the sequels are better but they’re very rare. Look what happened to Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights, Grease 2, and S. Darko etc. Seriously, at least leave some of the originals alone and just make new ones.

  5. Michelle says:

    James should stop fussing and feel secure in the knowledge there is no other author like Irvine Welsh and this sequel will be proof again of how creative with words he is. Not often a sequel is better than the 1st, but I’m confident with Welshes imput it’s worth a watch.😄

    • Franco No Hypocrite says:

      In that case, Franco and especially Harmony Korine (I’m sure he too can find a legal angle), should feel free to pick up any of Irvine Welshes great books and make movies out of them (why not all) without asking for permission. Oh, Trainspotting needs an update surely by now.

      Welshes version might be worth a watch and could possibly be better but I still believe that Korine’s version will always be unique/classic and no one can ever take Franco’s performance away from him.

  6. Franco No Hypocrite says:

    Sorry but Franco is not actually a “Hypocrite” though. It’s great that Franco is supporting his friend Korine (loyal) and what he undertook himself also, but Chris Hanley in regards to the below quote let’s break it down.

    1. The Great and Mighty Oz – was a prequel NOT a sequel and the book writer L. Frank Baum made approximately 13 or 14 books to do with Oz, so it was actually NOTHING to do with the classic Wizard of Oz movie as Sam Raimi used other elements of the other books to tell his story.

    2. In 1977 there was a made for TV Spider Man movie, which ended up having a big screen release but the FIRST official FILM inception WAS Raimi’s Spider Man Series and AGAIN not a SEQUEL.

    3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a Prequel. In fact, the joke was Franco does prequels never sequels, unless it follows an original concept.

    4. Pineapple Express was an original concept, so Franco can champion for a sequel, especially, if the ORIGINAL director and majority of the original cast members would be up for coming back.

    It’s clearly Harmony Korine fault for giving away his original property concept away and maybe Franco’s Production company should have also gone for the rights also. There is nothing Korine and Franco can do about it but just inform the audience members what they think and Franco HAS. It will never hinder the brilliant work that Korine/Franco put in the first one (which confused so many to call it a masterpiece or the worst movie ever, NOW there will be no surprises BUT just another take whether good or bad) as it will still remain a classic AWAYS no matter what.

    However, let’s be AGAIN clear Franco is no “Hypocrite”, just passionate about this particular movie – no worries his character is iconic anyways (POSSIBLY there might be others in the future but he will always remain the ORIGINAL in regards to Spring Breakers character development)….

    • Dev says:

      A prequel is a type of sequel because it’s another installment of a franchise. The only thing that is technically is not a sequel is a reboot because that’s a complete re-imagining! People really do need to get educated on stuff before they say that crap.

    • JakeJ413 says:

      So they should make “Spring Breakers 2” a prequel and then Franco can be a hypocrite.

      • Franco No Hypocrite says:

        Apparently, they can legally do what they like, and it doesn’t necessary have to be a prequel (just leave some things alone, no need to follow the crowd) but the quote read “Let’s see if I can remember all of the sequels James has done,” and technically from what he listed that’s not TRUE, so Franco isn’t a hypocrite.

        Also, “while he glibly attacks real independent filmmakers dedicated to independent points of view,” , HOLD ON A MINUTE, I thought Franco sometimes ensured that he funded his OWN independent directorial projects plus helping others. Franco is a real independent filmmaker, who recently help fund Palo Alto (stories from his book but still helped to get it funded and star in) and hopefully it’s a hit.

  7. francosright says:

    Harmony Korine sold Franco on an original story and style of filmmaking, and he bought in big time. Now all of a sudden a sequel is being made of their project without their knowledge or the slightest bit of involvement. I would feel the exact same way he does, it seems obvious why this should bother him and that this has nothing to do with his previous work or sequels thereof

  8. Dmk says:

    They look like they have some great talent lined up-why not try for a fresher story? As for Franco-time for an Instagram intervention buddy.

  9. cadavra says:

    Why should he care? He can’t be in it anyway, unless he’s playing a twin brother.

  10. carrie Stetko says:

    Well said Chris!!!

  11. therealeverton says:

    Clearly something is missing here as I fail to see what the other films Franco has made (Oz ^ Apes aren’t sequels) has got to do with him thinking, even if he is mistaken, that a Spring Breakers sequel without the participation of the people he mentioned is a “fraud” and making money off other people’s hard work / names. That’s mot hypocritical, it may be wrong, but not hypocritical.

  12. PETER SOLARI says:

    I like James Franco, but he should let people live their own lives. Isn’t James busy enough without getting this BS started. James should care about his health and appearance and start sleeping at night!

  13. Logan Wilkin says:

    SPRING BREAKERS is a masterpiece and should be left alone as an only child.

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