James Franco to Play Author Shel Silverstein in 'A Boy Named Shel'

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James Franco, Shel Silverstein

Franco will also direct the feature from producers Gigi Pritzker and McG.

James Franco will play children's book author Shel Silverstein in a biopic that he will also direct.

Based on Lisa Rogak's book A Boy Named Shel, the movie will focus on the personal and professional struggles of the author behind the popular book The Giving Tree and collection of poems Where the Sidewalk Ends. Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair will write the screenplay.

McG and Mary Viola will produce through their Wonderland banner, along with Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane for MWM Studios, which was recently rebranded from Pritzker's OddLot Entertainment.

Franco will executive produce through Rowena Films with Vince Jolivette and Adrian Alperovich of MWM, which will fully finance.

The Hollywood multihyphenate can currently be seen in A24's The Disaster Artist, which he also directed. Franco's portrayal of eccentric The Room filmmaker Tommy Wiseau has earned the actor early awards-season buzz. It was recently announced that he would be joining Fox's X-Men universe with a possible Multiple Man stand-alone movie.

Franco is repped by UTA, Anonymous and Sloane Offer.

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