James Franco Cast in Adaptation of Pick-Up Advice Book 'The Game'
I knew we would see this happen one day. If you're a guy you probably know of this book, it's called The Game, written by Neil Strauss, about how to pick up girls and the tricks of trade for meeting them and talking with them. It's a book that every guy knows and has read and subscribes to, for the most part, so I knew they'd somehow adapt it into a movie at some point. THR is reporting that MGM is developing the adaptation with none other than James Franco now set to star as Mystery, a man who is Strauss' pick-up artist teacher in the book. Solitary Man directors Brian Koppelman & David Levien are writing & directing.
The book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-up Artists was first published in 2005, written by Neil Strauss as a chronicle of his journey and encounters in the "seduction community". It's a popular book amongst guys and gained fame both upon its original release and when "The Pick-Up Artist", starring Mystery, aired on VH1 in '07. It doesn't sound like the Neil Strauss role has been cast yet, but THR does say Franco will play Mystery, a Canadian dating coach guru who teaches Strauss at a "Bootcamp" in the book.
The project was originally set up at Columbia with Chris Weitz attached to direct, then Spyglass picked it up with D.B. Weiss as a writer. Later, Lionsgate tried to develop an adaptation with Rawson Marshall Thurber attached to direct. Fox Searchlight has also considered it, but it's the reformed MGM who is now developing it. Chris and Paul Weitz are still attached as producers, while Brian Koppelman & David Levien (Solitary Man, Knockaround Guys) are writing and directing. I'm curious to see how this develops, who else they cast, and if it turns out any good. I'm worried it's going to be a bit too much like Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, but I hope they can actually do this adaptation justice and make a great movie out of it.