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James Franco Assembles Cast for Adaptation of ‘In Dubious Battle’

James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston and Danny McBride will star together in the adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “In Dubious Battle,” which Franco is also directing.

AMBI Group is financing the film and producing with Rabbit Bandini Productions and That’s Hollywood Pictures Productions.

The original novel 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. Rager previously worked with Franco on film adaptations of William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” and “The Sound and the Fury.

Principal photography on the film will start in March.

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

“I am very inspired by James’ work and cannot wait to collaborate with him on this project with these remarkable artists,” said AMBI’s Andrea Iervolino. “This film will be stunning portrait of strife and violence, and bringing it to life with such a remarkably talented cast fortifies our belief that we are creating a classic.”

The CAA-repped Franco continues to fill his slate with diverse material including “I Am Michael,” which bowed at Sundance this past week.

 

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