James Franco has signed on to direct and star in a feature film adaptation of Andre Dubus III's The Garden of Last Days, Deadline reports. Published in 2008, the book is officially described as follows:
One early September night in Florida, a stripper brings her daughter to work. Aprilís usual babysitter, Jean, has had a panic attack that has landed her in the hospital. April doesnít really know anyone else, so she decides itís best to have her three-year-old daughter close by, watching childrenís videos in the office while she works.
April works at the Puma Club for Men. And tonight she has an unusual client, a foreigner both remote and too personal, and free with his money. Lots of it, all cash. His name is Bassam. Meanwhile, another man, AJ, has been thrown out of the club for holding hands with his favorite stripper, and heís drunk and angry and lonely.
From these explosive elements comes a relentless, raw, searing, passionate, page-turning narrative, a big-hearted and painful novel about sex and parenthood and honor and masculinity. Set in the seamy underside of American life at the moment before the world changed, it juxtaposes lust for domination with hunger for connection, sexual violence with family love. It seizes the reader by the throat with the same psychological tension, depth, and realism that characterized Andre Dubus IIIís best-selling "House of Sand and Fog" ó and an even greater sense of the dark and anguished places in the human heart.
Franco, who recently starred in both Oz The Great and Powerful and Spring Breakers, will screen his directorial effort As I Lay Dying, based on the William Faulkner tome, at the Cannes Film Festival.
Hanna Weg, who provides the screenplay to The Garden of Last Days, will also produce alongside Gerard Butler, Danielle Robinson and Alan Siegel.