With The Disaster Artist due out this Friday, you'd think James Franco would only be talking about the A24 flick that's set to become one of the cult favorites of 2017. But the announcement that Franco will at some point join the X-Men universe is now bound to be the only thing he's asked about until this Multiple Man project has legs.
Surprising to no one, though, Franco is playing coy with damn near all of the information on this project. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Franco kept most of the specifics close to the chest. Hell, he's not even confirming that the previously reported Multiple Man film is what he's working on.
"I do have a superhero that I am developing," Franco confirmed. "I don't know how much I can say. But I will say I am producing and performing in it. It's early stages. I think probably what I can say is, like anything, there's a need to develop more."
This project is a collaboration between X-Men's own Simon Kinberg (who's been a part of every X-Men release, so far) through his Ramona Films company. "Our bottom line MO," Franco continued, "is how can we push this into new ground? A little bit, but still make it entertaining? [But] what I love about what Simon Kinberg and Fox and the X-Men people have done with Deadpool and Logan—it took a while to get there, maybe 10 years—but they are going to go hard R. And we're going to take this superhero thing and really just push it into a new genre. So we’re working with Simon Kinberg on an X-Men property."
Does this mean Franco's project could dwell in a hard R realm? It'll be interesting to see. In the comics, Jamie Madrox is a private investigator (he runs X-Factor Investigations), so who knows if the film could do similar things in tone that Netflix's Jessica Jones did? Fox has seen success taking Logan and Deadpool into those worlds, and with someone like Franco at the helm, maybe they will believe in his vision like they (ultimately) let Ryan Reynolds rock.