First Look: James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in Howl

June 5, 2009


We've heard a little bit about Howl, the film about the 1957 obscenity trial Allen Ginsberg faced after the publication of his poem, but this is our first look at anyone in it. James Franco stars as the poet Allen Ginsberg alongside of Mary-Louise Parker as Gail Potter, Jeff Daniels as Professor David Kirk, and David Strathairn as Ralph McIntosh. Seen below, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, is our very first look at Franco along with co-star Aaron Tveit as his friend Peter Orlovsky. Howl is written and directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and was executive producer by Gus Van Sant. Check out the photo below.

James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in Howl

Franco (on the right) explains that he plays Ginsberg as "an unsure young man who's trying to find his way." Not only does Franco look a bit like Ginsberg, but he knows all about him, too. "All his uncertainty culminates in the poem 'Howl' and gives birth to the Ginsberg we know," Franco tells EW. "The Beats were very important to me when I started reading literature more seriously in high school. They were some of the first writers that I read and fell in love with." Werc Werk Works financed and producer the film, however, it doesn't have a distributor just yet. Howl will likely show at one of a few upcoming film festivals this year.

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  • xerxex
    Awesome I always felt that Franco was perfect to portray Ginsburg on film, and he didn't disappoint!
  • James Franco, nice. Ginsberg, nice. Looking forward to it? Yes.
  • PJ Hanrahan
    I Kinda think Jeff Goldblum Looks like Allen Ginsberg...
  • crumb
    James Franco will always be Daniel Desario to me.
  • viral
    love how wonderfully franco is picking his projects... this history boys, the turn in pinapple express... you just cant stereotype him.. go Franco
  • i'm into cb
    great article, but try looking over it instead of just using spell check. "Were Werk Works financed and "producer" the film"?
  • werc werk works is a studio...
  • James
    Thanks for this picture and update! Just a NOTE though: Peter Orlovsky is Allen Ginsberg's LOVER/life partner up until his death...not just his friend.




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