Roughly 14 years ago, a peculiar billboard featuring a strange black-and-white face appeared on Highland Avenue in Los Angeles, advertising an unknown film that would go on to earn a measly $1,800 from its two-week run. The billboard, however, would stay in place for some five years.
The film in question, The Room, is now a cult hit around the world, and the hotly anticipated comedy-drama about the making of what is widely regarded as the “Citizen Kane of bad movies” and its eccentric director-writer-star Tommy Wiseau (the owner of the aforementioned face) has used the original advert for inspiration with its latest marketing.
A billboard appeared in the same spot Wednesday for The Disaster Artist, based on The Room star Greg Sestero’s book and directed by James Franco (who also plays its main protagonist). In place of Wiseau’s head is Franco’s, bearing a similar unfriendly expression, while the advert — like the original — invites people to call a number to “RSVP”
Seth Rogen, who produced and stars in The Disaster Artist, retweeted a picture of the new billboard, claiming that the phone number in question went directly to Franco. Unfortunately, when The Hollywood Reporter tried, it dialed out.
— jen yamato (@jenyamato) October 24, 2017
For real Franco has the phone with that number. https://t.co/y8MP8heYXu
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) October 25, 2017
A24 is giving The Disaster Artist a limited release on Dec. 1 before taking it wide Dec. 8.