OK, so this side gig isn't totally unexpected; plenty of actors moonlight as producers, writers, and directors. But the regularity with which Franco announces/releases/makes/talks about new projects would be palpitation-inducing to most. Some of the highlights?
In 2007 there was Good Time Max, a feature which Franco wrote, directed and starred in; it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Since then, his oeuvre has taken a sort of strange/indie/avant-garde turn. In 2010 he turned a student film about his time spent hosting Saturday Night Live into a real documentary (it, too, screened at Tribeca).
At the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Franco premiered Three's Company: The Drama, a multimedia project that played up the dramatic side of the goofy 1970s sitcom. Another student project, The Broken Tower—about the life of poet Hart Crane—screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival that same year (and starred Michael Shannon).
Franco's got a production company, Rabbit Bandini. And as a writer-director, he has two films—Child of God and Black Dog, Red Dog—currently in post-production. He's also directing, scripting and starring in a big-screen adaptation of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, which he'll immediately follow up with the biopic Bukowski.