First Trailer for James Franco's Steinbeck Adaptation 'In Dubious Battle'

August 29, 2016
Source: Deadline

In Dubious Battle Trailer

"Now I have a chance to fight for something." AMBI Group has debuted the first official trailer for James Franco's adaptation of John Steinbeck's acclaimed novel In Dubious Battle, about a group of workers on apple farms in the 1930s who rise up and strike against the landowners. James Franco directs and stars in the film, yet another Franco adaptation, along with Nat Wolff as Jim Nolan, a young recruit who joins the activist and helps organize the strike. The impressive ensemble cast includes Vincent D'Onofrio, Bryan Cranston, Ed Harris, Sam Shepard, Selena Gomez, Josh Hutcherson, Ashley Greene, John Savage and Zach Braff. This actually looks pretty damn inspiring, I have to admit, I'm intrigued. Check it.

Here's the first official trailer (+ poster) for James Franco's In Dubious Battle, originally from Deadline:

In Dubious Battle Poster

In the 1930s in California's apple country, nine hundred migratory workers rise up "in dubious battle" against the landowners. The group takes on a life of its own-stronger than its individual members and more frightening. Led by the doomed Jim Nolan (Wolff), the strike is founded on his tragic idealism-on the "courage never to submit or yield." In Dubious Battle is directed by actor-filmmaker James Franco (Sal, As I Lay Dying, My Own Private River, Child of God, The Sound and the Fury, Zeroville), adapting from John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel first published in 1936. The screenplay is by Matt Rager. The film will premiere at the Venice Film Festival coming up, with no release plans set yet. Anyone interested?

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Reader Feedback - 16 Comments


Franco can deliver fantastic performances when he is away from Seth Rogen's bad influence.

tarek on Aug 29, 2016


Oh no...Miss Gomez is epically miscast here. I think she might have single handedly taken down this movie. I know is Franco directing, but that cast is one of the best casts in the last decade.

DAVIDPD on Aug 29, 2016


It's already been said, but I'll ask again: Why is Selena Gomez in this?!? Stellar cast otherwise, but I can't help but feel like this has a bit of the made-for-tv movie quality....just to me. Maybe it was the music, maybe it was the "inspired dialogue" scenes in the feels a bit forced and corny. Powerful story though...

RAW_D on Aug 30, 2016


Well said. It is a powerful story, but also more than a bit forced and very corny indeed along with feeling like a made-for-tv quality about it. Welcome to stuff by Franco. He doesn't have the required chops to pull of this kind of story and movie. He never has and never will as all his work is like this.

Bo on Aug 30, 2016


American business has done horrible things to its workers. Remember Ludlow Massacre. Stories like this should be told, whether they be books, films or whatever. But it is unforgivable sin, as already amply noted, to include in that someone like Selena Gomez. Not fair to the story and its meaning ...

shiboleth on Aug 30, 2016


Yea, but the problem, the real problem is Franco. I have absolutely no interest in him. I thought his acting in this trailer horrible and not believable in the least. Again, the problem is Franco, who picks these works by renown and respected writers and turn them into exercises in mediocrity. He simply deludes himself into thinking he has the talent to do these great writers justice. As to why guys like Sam Shepard and Ed Harris and Duvall acting in this with Franco in charge I can only think they were paid very, very well and only worked a day or two and the chance to chew some scenery while being paid to do

Bo on Aug 30, 2016


You know, that's another thing I was too reluctant, to raise it as an issue here. So, definitely, it looks like Franco knows how to pick a good thing but the tragedy of it, the real creative tragedy, is the fact that this is all ability he's exercising here. That's very much probable, right? In some respect, that's a longstanding dilemma for me which I forget to resolve from time to time. Namely, should one just use a good idea or should it be done by someone good? The other choice seems right to me, I just forget about that sometimes. If you understood what I said Bo, thank you for your help in reminding me what is right thing ...

shiboleth on Aug 31, 2016


Hello shiboleth. Look, the problem is one of ego aggrandizement. It's pretty simple to ascertain what the renown works are in our culture and attempt to present them by riding on the coat tails of said work. Franco doesn't know that he hasn't the creative talent to to this well. He doesn't know that he doesn't know and he doesn't want to know that he doesn't know that he doesn't know. How about that bit of observational acumen? He's more interested in the 'look at me taking on works by Steinbeck'..aren't I something? I think he's just an example of the vapid ego manical aggrandizement behavior that seems to be prevalent in American culture these days. All bluster and puffery with no substance to back it up. People like Trump, the Kardashians, Tim Tebow...the list goes on...buffoons who seek attention and publicity without any substance to earn the attention...That may seem harsh and overly critical, but it seems to be the way I perceive it so I'll boldly state it as!

Bo on Aug 31, 2016


Oh don't worry about being harsh. I like you when you start being that way. You are probably right about him, but all described by you is also probably a reason why I sometimes avoid projects with him. As for the state of culture, its narcissistic prevalence nowadays is everywhere, not only in US. Although, it might be really tough in a society where is media culture so strong as it is in US. And as for the 'observational acumen', I pronounce you my hero for a day. Yeah, it's only a day, since I need to give you more chances for your insightful observance ... Cheers Bo ...

shiboleth on Aug 31, 2016


Thanks for the one day, shiboleth...I'll take it and look forward coming up with the goods in the future. Thanks for the encouragement with regards to my 'harsh' observations...nice to be liked when I'm like that. Res assured I was only being ironic in my worries about being too harsh...I have no serious worries in that

Bo on Aug 31, 2016


An artist is a narcissistic creature by nature...

tarek on Sep 1, 2016


Very true....especially actors...most especially

Bo on Sep 1, 2016


Come on Bo. Franco isn't that bad. Is he? ;D Quite Francoly, I enjoy his acting. He's not Tom Hardy by any mean, but he is good at it when he doesn't do Pee Wee comedies. That being said, I know I can't change your mind on him. I have a short list of actors that I hold to the same esteem...Sometimes we denigrate or hate an actor for some obscure reason, that our reason ignores. Well, we try to make sense of it of course, but it's beyond any logic. It can be a mix of physical appearance, unacceptable (for us) behavior and ideology, etc. My favorite bad actors actresses are: -Kristen Stewart. the most depressing girl on earth. - Gerard Butler -Seth Rogen -Channing Tatum -Zac Ef'ron -Hugh Grant -Johnny Depp -Liam Hemsworth -Halle Berry -Bruce Willis, the guy with the boring face.

tarek on Aug 31, 2016


Well, tarek, I'm chuckling here at your post. Can't argue with it or your list, except you really should include Franco and take off Kristen Stewart. That's a pretty harsh assessment of her as the most depressing girl on earth, in my opinion, of course. Like your correct observation that you won't be able to change my mind re: Franco (not in a million I won't even attempt to change yours about Stewart. Only to say she has done some good work since doing those Twilight things that made her a multimillionaire and hasn't done any other bloated American movies since then by working with some interesting directors, some of which are not American and the films were made outside of this country and worthy of viewing. Now, having made my bid for the talents of Ms. Steward, let me again say your lists is on the money. Although I kind of like Hugh Grant sometimes. He's harmless. The rest I quite literally can't stand...especially Butler, Rogen (to the max) Tatum and Willis...Ugh! Later gator...great post as always.

Bo on Sep 1, 2016


This looks amazing...Best Picture worthy

Dr. Dobb on Aug 31, 2016


looks good. Poster is awful though.

adam riozzi on Sep 1, 2016

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