David Strathairn, Alan Alda, Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker and Paul Rudd are attached to join James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in the beatnik biopic Howl.
The Hollywood Reporter says Telling Pictures documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman will make their narrative writing, producing and directing debut with the 1950s-era tale, focusing on the obscenity trial launched to censor Ginsberg’s groundbreaking book-length poem. The pair were approached by the Allen Ginsberg Trust to make a film commemorating the 50th anniversary of Howl.
Among the real-life characters featured in the film are prosecuting attorney Ralph McIntosh (Strathairn), Judge Clayton Horn (Alda), prosecution witness Professor David Kirk (Daniels), radio personality and prosecution witness Gail Potter (Parker) and literary critic and defense witness Luther Nichols (Rudd).
Graphic novelist and Ginsberg collaborator Eric Drooker will create an animated reimagining of Howl (in segments Epstein describes as “a Beat Fantasia”) and Carter Burwell will write the original score.