'Breaking Bad' Alum Giancarlo Esposito Joins James Franco's 'The Long Home' (Exclusive)

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Franco will star in and direct the 1940s-set film.

Breaking Bad alum Giancarlo Esposito has signed on to James Franco's indie The Long Home.

Based on the novel by William Gay, the 1940s-set story centers on a young contractor who is hired to build a honky-tonk in Tennessee by the man who killed his father. Franco is starring as Hardin, and Josh Hutcherson and Tim Blake Nelson were recently cast. There will likely be several other notable actors signing on to the low-budget project.

Esposito will play William Tell Oliver, a Southern salt-of-the-earth man with a colorful, checkered life spent entirely within the confines of the county. He hunts ginseng for a living, and eats, breathes and lives the natural world he inhabits. 

Franco is producing alongside Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis of Rabbit Bandini, while Robert Halmi Jr. and Jim Reeve are exec producing.

Emmy nominee Esposito, who played memorable bad guy Gustavo "Gus" Fring on the AMC series Breaking Bad, will next be seen in Fox's Maze Runner sequel The Scorch Trials, out Sept. 18. He recently finished shooting Money Monster, which is directed by Jodie Foster and stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts. He's also voicing a character in Disney's The Jungle Book, set for release in April 2016. He's repped by ICM Partners, Thruline and Jackoway Tyerman.