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James Franco Boards Tennessee Drama ‘The Long Home’

James Franco has come on board to direct and produce William Gay’s “The Long Home,” a coming-of-age story set in rural Tennessee in the 1940s.

Franco and Vince Jolivette will produce through their Rabbit Bandini Productions.

The story centers on a young and headstrong Tennessee carpenter who lost his father years before to a human evil and is forced to make difficult moral choices to face up to that evil. “The Long Home” was Gay’s debut novel and won the 1999 James A. Michener Memorial Prize.

Franco is currently producing, directing and starring in “In Dubious Battle,” based on John Steinbeck’s 1936 novel about labor conflict. The cast includes Franco, Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston, Nat Wolff, John Savage and Sam Shepard.

Franco has also directed two adaptions of William Faulkner novels set in the rural South through Rabbit Bandini — 2014’s “The Sound and the Fury,” which played at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, and 2013’s “As I Lay Dying.”

He was last seen in Sony’s “The Interview,” which he exec produced.

The deal for “The Long Home” was made by Geoff Sanford at RWSG Literary Agency and Pat Walsh at Dzanc Books. The news was first reported by Publishers Weekly.

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