Chances are you’ve never seen the 2003 Tommy Wiseau vanity project The Room, but the chances are even higher that you know exactly what it is and why it’s still talked about nearly 15 years on from its release. Famously dubbed “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”, this disaster of a movie is seen by many as the worst film ever made; awful dialogue delivered in awful ways, narrative flaws and out of focus shots, The Room fell flat on its face upon release. Wiseau has always claimed that there was a method to his madness, that The Room was always intended to be laughably bad, but many are in agreement that this was a passion project made by a man with less talent than Michael Bay has respect for women. For obvious reasons then, The Room is now a cult classic on the level of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Whilst Wiseau has revelled in the unforeseen second life of his movie, its true story has since been told by Wiseau’s co-star and friend, Greg Sestero, in his book The Disaster Artist. It is this branch of The Room‘s history that brings us to one of 2017’s most highly anticipated releases still to come – The Disaster Artist.
One James Franco has taken it upon himself to bring Sestero’s account to life, Franco serves as director, producer and star for this insider’s story of the worst movie ever made. Alongside him as Sestero is his own brother Dave Franco, with regular Franco collaborator Seth Rogen playing script supervisor Sandy Schklair. But it’s not just another Franco-Rogen show, the ensemble also boasts the talents of Alison Brie, Josh Hutcherson, Jacki Weaver, Zac Efron, Hannibal Buress, Melanie Griffith, Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, Judd Apatow, Kate Upton, Dylan Minnette, Zoey Deutch, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jason Mitchell and Randall Park. And that’s not even including the celebrity cameos! Bryan Cranston, Zach Braff, J. J. Abrams, Kristen Bell, Keegan-Michael Key, Adam Scott, Danny McBride and “the Orson Welles of crap” himself, Tommy Wiseau are all confirmed to make cameo appearances. Not only is The Disaster Artist a story of Hollywood at its most bizarre, it’s a story that seemingly all of Hollywood want in on.
Whilst Franco may not have the best directorial track record to date (this being arguably his biggest project yet), he is more than proven as both a dramatic and comedic actor, with his performances in 127 Hours and This Is The End being two of the most lauded of his career, two films that couldn’t be any more different. But the award-winning source material gives this movie great hope. Not only is the story of The Room rather remarkable, but it also packs a mix of humour and drama to allow for what should be a crowd pleaser as well as a possible awards contender, one judging panel described the book saying that “The Disaster Artist is not only a hell of a good read, it will make a great film if ever adapted. It’s equal parts Ed Wood, American Hustle and demented Citizen Kane—with a dash of Monty Python thrown into the mix”. Not a half bad movie pitch if I may say so myself.
From the first teaser released a couple of months ago which gave us a glimpse of the famous “Oh hai Mark” scene, it’s clear that Franco has the role of Wiseau down to a tee, in all its absurdity and eccentricities. The hilarity of watching the greatest bad movie ever made unfold looks to be both enjoyable and oddly fascinating. The full trailer released recently only furthers this, Franco and co. are clearly having a blast and their fun should easily translate into what should be one of 2017’s funniest and most riotously entertaining movies.
The Disaster Artist (2017), directed by James Franco, will be released in the UK on December 1st 2017, certificate 15.