James Franco to Direct Off-Broadway Play

James Franco
Fabrizio Maltese

James Franco spoke to THR about his adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel about an impoverished Mississippi family. "Its essence is something that was relevant 80 years ago and is relevant today and was relevant 2,000 years ago," he said. The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section.

VIDEO: Live From Cannes: James Franco on 'As I Lay Dying'

The actor will shepherd a cast that includes his "Child of God" lead Scott Haze and Ally Sheedy in Robert Boswell's drama "The Long Shrift."

NEW YORK – James Franco, currently making his Broadway debut in Of Mice and Men, will add stage director to his artistically wide-ranging credits with the off-Broadway production of Robert Boswell's The Long Shrift.

Part of the 20th anniversary season of the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, the drama concerns a man accused of rape as a teenager who is released from prison nine years later, when he finds his accuser suddenly back in his life.

THEATER REVIEW 'Of Mice and Men'

The play will star Scott Haze, Ahna O'Reilly, Brian Lally, Allie Gallerani and Ally Sheedy. It is scheduled to run from July 13 through Aug. 23, with previews starting July 7.

Haze will make his off-Broadway debut in the production after having with Franco on a number of his screen-directing ventures. He played the lead of a violent social outcast deep in the Tennessee Mountains in Child of God, adapted from the novella by Cormac McCarthy. He also appeared in Franco's film version of the William Faulkner novel As I Lay Dying, as well as two upcoming features, The Sound and the Fury, also based on Faulkner, and Bukowski, about the formative years of writer Charles Bukowski.

STORY 'Of Mice and Men' With James Franco, Chris O'Dowd Recoups on Broadway

Boswell is the author of seven novels, three story collections, two books of nonfiction and one previously produced play, Tongues. His most recent novel, Tumbledown, was published last summer by Graywolf Press.

Franco currently appears opposite Chris O'Dowd, Leighton MeesterJim Norton and Jim Parrack in the Broadway revival of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. The limited engagement is scheduled to run through July 27 at the Longacre Theatre.