James Franco to Direct 'The Pretenders' With Trio of Rising Stars (Exclusive)

The Hollywood Reporter

James Franco will direct The Pretenders and has cast a trio of of rising stars - Jack Kilmer, Shameik Moore and Jane Levy - as the leads. Brian Cox and Juno Temple also will star.

The Fault in Our Stars helmer Josh Boone wrote the script for the film, which is set in New York City in the 1980s and follows two college friends who fall in love with the same girl, creating a decade-spanning, very unique love story between the threesome. 

The script has been circulating since 2013, with various loose actor attachments throughout the years.

The film is being produced as a co-production between Rabbit Bandini Productions, SSS Entertainment and Yale Productions. Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis at Rabbit Bandini, Shaun Sanghani at SSS, Jordan Yale Levine from Yale and Scott Levenson are producing along with Katy Leary.

The prolific actor-director-producer Franco most recently helmed In Dubious Battle, based on the John Steinbeck book, and The Masterpiece, a film about the making-of the infamous "worst film ever" The Room. He'll soon be seen as an actor in the comedy Why Him? with Bryan Cranston. Franco is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content and Sloane, Offer.

Kilmer previously worked with Franco on Palo Alto, which was directed by Gia Coppola and based on a story by Franco. The actor's other credits include The Stanford Prison Experiment, The Nice Guys and the upcoming film Huntsville. He is repped by CAA, Principato-Young and Hirsch Wallerstein.

Moore was the breakout star of Rick Famuyiwa's film Dope, and then landed Baz Luhrmann's Netflix musical series The Get Down. He is repped by ICM Partners, Artistic Endeavors, Three Six Zero and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.

Levy starred in the horror film Don't Breathe, and will soon be seen in Monster Trucks. She is repped by Gersh and Sloane, Offer.

Cox's many acting credits include recent sci-fi film Morgan, along with Troy, The Bourne Supremacy and Braveheart. He is repped by Paradigm and Insight.

Temple starred in Maleficent, Black Mass with Johnny Depp and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Her upcoming films include Woody Allen's next project and Netflix's The Most Hated Woman in America. She is repped by UTA, Troika in the U.K. and Lichter, Grossman.

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