×

James Franco, Elysium Bandini Set Latest Film Collaboration ‘Mississippi Requiem’

James Franco, Elysium Bandini Studios and UCLA are developing “Mississippi Requiem” — a single movie consisting of four black and white shorts — Variety has learned exclusively. Franco will star in the adaptation of William Faulkner’s stories, along with Topher Grace, Amy Smart and Alicia Witt.

The pic deals with issues of race, gender and class set in the American South during the early 20th Century. Beth Grant, Marianna Palka, Elayn Taylor, Sky Van Vliet and Zackary Arthur also star, along with musician George Lewis Jr., known as Twin Shadow.

The four Faulkner stories adapted include “A Dry September,” “That Evening Sun,” “Elly” and “A Rose for Emily.”

Elysium Bandini is partnered with UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television; Lee Caplin of Picture Entertainment; and Sabrina Coryell of Engaging the Senses Foundation.

This production is the second film collaboration this year under Elysium Bandini, the newly formed philanthropic studio model between Franco and Vince Jolivette’s Rabbit Bandini Productions, and Jennifer Howell’s The Art of Elysium.

Elysium Bandini’s existing film slate includes “Forever,” “Yosemite,” “Memoria” and the recently announced project at USC, “The Mad Whale.” All of the movies’ proceeds benefit programs for the nonprofit The Art of Elysium, a favorite charity of Kirsten Dunst, Eva Mendes, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp.

Franco directed two previous Faulker adaptations — “As I Lay Dying” in 2013 and “The Sound and the Fury,” which premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival.

Student filmmaking teams on the four short films comprising “Mississippi Requiem” are led by Arkesh Ajay, Jerell Rosales, Kelly Pike and Marta Savina, as well as UCLA producing students Juanita Cepero, Matt Russak, Aaron Edmonds, Safiya Farquharson, Zachary Hamby, Cecilia Albertini and Ariane Ackerberg.

Executive producers are Franco, Jolivette and Howell of Elysium Bandini; Coryell of Engaging the Senses Foundation; and Lee Caplin of Picture Entertainment, who also represents Faulkner’s estate.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) in

    'Morbius,' 'Ghostbusters' Sequel and More Sony Movies Pushed Back to 2021

    Sony Pictures has pushed back many of its major tentpoles — including “Morbius,” “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” “Uncharted” and “Peter Rabbit 2” — to next year, the studio announced on Monday. Jason Reitman’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” has moved from July 10, 2020, to March 5, 2021; Jared Leto’s “Morbius” has been pushed back from July 31, 2020, to [...]

  • Anne Hathaway to Star in 'French

    Film News Roundup: Anne Hathaway Stars in 'French Children Don't Throw Food'

    In today’s film news roundup, Anne Hathaway will portray an American journalist in Paris, blockbuster director Michael Bay signs with Sony Pictures, and “Extra Ordinary” and “The Etruscan Smile” are added to arthouse streaming services. CASTING Anne Hathaway is starring in the movie “French Children Don’t Throw Food,” based on Pamela Druckerman’s autobiographical book, “Bringing [...]

  • Empty movie theater

    Cinemark Cuts Employee Wages Temporarily After Coronavirus Closes Theaters

    Cinemark is temporarily reducing wages for all U.S. employees while its theaters remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With these measures, workers salaries will be cut by around 50%. All employees are working reduced hours and will still maintain full benefits. Cinemark’s CEO Mark Zoradi and the board of directors are voluntarily forgoing their [...]

  • Lionsgate

    Lionsgate Layoffs Hit Feature Film Marketing and Distribution Department

    Lionsgate has laid off nearly 20 employees, primarily in its feature film marketing and distribution department, sources tell Variety. The cuts had been in the works for months as part of a restructuring and were not influenced by the coronavirus outbreak, Lionsgate said. No other layoffs are currently planned, and most, but not all, were [...]

  • Visions du Réel Reimagined as Digital

    Switzerland's Visions du Réel Reimagined as Digital Only Event

    Visions du Réel, a film festival in Nyon, Switzerland, has changed the format of its next edition to accommodate the restrictions imposed by the Swiss government in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Originally planned to run from April 24 to May 2, the festival will now be a digital-only event held over a longer period, [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Announces Dues Extension Program for Members During Coronavirus Pandemic

    SAG-AFTRA has developed a program to provide dues relief for SAG-AFTRA members during the Covid-19 pandemic with an extension of the May 1 deadline. “Members experiencing financial hardship resulting from work stoppages related to Covid-19 will be granted a due date extension and an installment plan for those payments,” the union said. “As part of [...]

  • Studio Babelsberg

    Terminated 'Matrix 4,' 'Uncharted' Film Crews Demand Help From Studio Babelsberg

    Germany’s Studio Babelsberg is seeking to find a settlement with hundreds of film crew members following the shutdown earlier this month of Warner Bros.’ “The Matrix 4” and Sony Pictures’ “Uncharted” amid the coronavirus outbreak. The production stop has left many independent film crew members without pay and more than 300 have formed a working [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content