James Franco to Play Troubled Writer in Wim Wenders’ ‘Everything Will Be Fine’

Mark Deming
Movie Talk

James Franco is a busy guy, but he seems willing to make time for the right project, and that includes working with one of the best-respected filmmakers in the European cinema.

It was announced Tuesday that Franco has signed on to star in "Everything Will Be Fine," a new film from director Win Wenders. The celebrated German filmmaker is best known for the movies "Wings of Desire," "Paris, Texas," "Until The End Of The World," "The American Friend," and the Oscar-nominated dance film "Pina." Wenders has most recently been working in documentaries, short pieces, and European television projects, and "Everything Will Be Fine" will be his first dramatic feature since "Palermo Shooting" in 2008.

In "Everything Will Be Fine," Franco will play an author who accidentally finds himself implicated in the death of a child. Over the next twelve years, the author struggles to make peace with himself as he watches the effects the child's death has on its family, as well as the toll responsibility takes on himself.

Unusual for what seems like a small scale and personal story, Wenders has announced "Everything Will Be Fine" will be shot in 3-D. Wenders told a reporter, "I’m convinced that the medium lends itself really well to an intimate story."

The film is slated to begin shooting in August on locations in Montreal. Bjorn-Olaf Johannessen wrote the screenplay, and Gian-Piero Ringel will produce through Wenders' production company Neue Road Movies.

Franco has booked "Everything Will Be Fine" at a time when he's maintaining an especially hectic schedule. Franco will soon be seen in the comedy "This Is The End," he's currently shooting the drama "True Story," co-starring Jonah Hill and Felicity Jones, and his directorial debut, a screen version of William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying," will make its world premiere at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. Franco is also working on his next directorial effort, an adaptation of Andre Dubus III's "The Garden of Last Days," which Franco planning to star as well as direct. And Franco is in talks to work with another legendary German filmmaker, Werner Herzog, in the picture "Queen Of The Desert," co-starring Naomi Watts. Hopefully Franco has made time for a nap and a sandwich somewhere in the next year.