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James Franco Taps ‘Child of God’ Star for ‘In Dubious Battle’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Up-and-comer Scott Haze is reteaming with his “Child of God” director James Franco for Franco’s next directorial outing, “In Dubious Battle.”

The pic’s ensemble already includes Franco, Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston and Danny McBride. AMBI Group is financing the film and producing with Rabbit Bandini Productions and That’s Hollywood Pictures Productions.

The original novel by John Steinbeck portrays the struggle between labor and capital in 1930s America as close to all-out warfare. Published in 1936, “In Dubious Battle” is considered Steinbeck’s first major work. Set in a fictionalized valley in California, the story explores themes Steinbeck later continued to develop: group behavior, social injustice, man’s inhumanity to man. A labor conflict between migrant apple pickers and the local growers’ association is the backdrop against which Jim Nolan (Franco) becomes involved in the labor movement and rapidly matures as he learns what it means to do organizational fieldwork.

Matt Rager is adapting. Principal photography on the film will start in March.

AMBI Distribution will co-represent the film’s domestic rights with CAA.

Named one of Variety‘s “10 Actors to Watch,” Haze received rave reviews for his work on “Child of God” and since built up his slate with several films set to bow that include Franco’s “Zeroville” and Jeff Nichols’ “Midnight Special.”

He is repped by ICM Partners and Thruline Entertainment.

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