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James Franco Turns Tommy Wiseau’s Unintentional Humor Into an Actual Comedy

The first trailer for ‘The Disaster Artist’ is very meta — and very funny

Any connoisseur of the Good Bad Movie genre has probably seen The Room — a 2003 cult classic that vaguely (and poorly) addresses love and deception — and thought: How did this get made? James Franco — because who else? — is here to answer that, in the form of his own film. Based on a nonfiction book of the same name, The Disaster Artist details the chaos of Tommy Wiseau’s self-funded film, which dazzled a generation of stoned college students with its nonsensical script, low production quality, and inexplicably extensive sex scenes. After its release, The Room became infamous for being mesmerizingly bad, and cherished for being accidentally hilarious. As for The Disaster Artist, its first trailer suggests that it will be intentionally funny:

There’s a lot of meta irony in the delightful scene that makes up the trailer. Tommy Wiseau made a movie so legendarily bad that, years later, an Academy Award–nominated actor has recreated its making on a professional movie set, creating something that’s already generating Oscar buzz. James Franco — who is probably very good at memorizing lines — plays Wiseau, who cannot remember his character Johnny’s very simple lines. In a very accurate depiction of how the original film was made, the scene ends with the entire crew reciting those lines back to Wiseau. And when he miraculously follows through without messing up, his staff erupts with astonished joy. When you think about it, Wiseau’s journey into film is as classic an underdog story as it gets.

There are probably plenty more gems where this trailer came from. The film’s cast includes Josh Hutcherson as Philip Haldiman; Seth Rogen as a production guy who hates his life; James Franco’s little brother, Dave, who plays Greg, who plays the “best friend,” Mark; and Alison Brie as Amber, Mark’s love interest. Fingers crossed that elder Franco’s butt gets as much screen time as Wiseau’s did in the original. And for God’s sake, let’s hope that they finally explain the scene that features all the movie’s male characters throwing around a football while inexplicably wearing tuxedos.

(A24)
(A24)