James Franco and Ahna O’Reilly are developing a movie version of Alex Marwood’s murder mystery “The Killer Next Door.”
Franco and Vince Jolivette will produce through their Rabbit Bandini Productions, along with O’Reilly, who may take a lead acting role.
Marwood’s debut novel, “The Wicked Girls,” earned her the Edgar Award for paperback original. “The Killer Next Door,” published last year, centers on six neighbors forced into an unlikely alliance without realizing that one of them is a killer who will do anything to protect his secret.
Franco and Jolivette have become prolific independent producers. Franco directed and produced a pair of indie dramas this year — “In Dubious Battle,” based on John Steinbeck’s 1936 novel, with a cast that includes Franco, Selena Gomez, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris and Bryan Cranston; and “The Long Home,” based on William Gay’s coming-of-age story set in 1940s rural Tennessee, starring Franco, Josh Hutcherson and Zoe Levin.
Franco has also directed two adaptations of William Faulkner novels: 2014’s “The Sound and the Fury,” which played at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, and 2013’s “As I Lay Dying.”
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Franco was last seen in Sony’s “The Interview,” which he exec produced. He also produced and starred in the drama “I Am Michael,” which premiered at Sundance in January, portraying Michael Glatze’s change in identity from gay-rights activist to Christian pastor.
O’Reilly starred in “In Dubious Battle,” “I Am Michael,” “The Sound and the Fury” and the upcoming “All I See Is You.”
The deal for “The Killer Next Door” was made by Meg Davis of the Ki Agency, in association with William Morris Endeavor, on behalf of Laetitia Rutherford of Watson, Little.