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James Franco to Direct & Star in Adaptation of 'The Night Stalker'

by
January 17, 2011
Source: New York Post

James Franco / Night Stalker

Another day, another dollar and another project is added to the perpetually growing future slate of James Franco. Not only is Franco slated to co-host the Oscars with Anne Hathaway next month, but the actor has been making a play to write and/or direct more than a few new projects coming up. Now The NY Post has revealed Franco is apparently attached to direct and star in an adaptation of Philip Carlo's true crime story The Night Stalker. The book follows the exploits of Richard Ramirez, a Mexican-American serial killer who committed thirteen murders in the Los Angeles area in the mid-80's along with several other crimes.

In a strange mix of talent behind the project, Chris Cornell (lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave) is producing with Nicolas Constantine behind the screenplay. Here's what the screenwriter had to say about the story and James Franco working on the film:

"Phil Carlo painted such an amazing portrait of Richard Ramirez, the human being, and it's that which drew us all to the project. Sure, Ramirez was a monster -- but Phil investigated how he became that monster, and that's what this film is about. This isn't a horror film, nor does it glorify Ramirez in any way. James Franco shares that vision, and we all agree that he is absolutely the one actor, and now director, who can truly do this very intense role and story justice. I had no idea if he would do it, though, since it's pretty dark subject matter. They told me he was studying to be a director and this was perfect for him. We watched three short films he made, two of which were dark and one of which was about a serial killer. That confirmed James definitely had this dark side, and it definitely sealed the deal for us. Sure enough, James read the material and responded to it immediately."

Currently awaiting execution in San Quentin State Prision, Ramirez is also responsible for five attempted murders, eleven sexual assaults and fourteen burglaries. The film will show how this criminal bcame the ruthless killer known as "The Night Stalker." Though he's been linked to projects, this may be Franco's most immediate directing gig since he'll apparently shoot the film this summer when he's on break from going to school at Yale. Franco seems perfect for the role (he even looks like the killer), and this will certainly be a good way for him to prove his skills in the director's chair. What do you think?

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  • Rasta
    well as long as he stays true to his words; illustrating what made the guy do that, i'm game.
  • John
    Well someone has sucked and took it one for the boys to make their way to the top really quick and early in life!
  • sounds like a crowd-pleaser
  • norm
    Obviously the casting is right on, but does Franco really want to delve that deep into the sordidness of Ramirez's crimes? I mean bloody murders, graphic mutiliations, rapes, sodomy, Satanism, child killing...it ain't exactly the shoot and run killings of Zodiac. This seems more like the job for an underground filmmaker...
  • Would wanted to think that I hope he'll be good on this, he's a promising star and a director. Hope everything runs well with this movie.
  • ChrisC5G
    I think Francos perfect for this , he can act , possibly direct and he looks the part and there hasn't been a decent serial killer movie since the zodiac an that was ok.
  • Andrea Bakurva
    Wow u have more energy idol you i love book too, can i have one i think its nice story!

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