Pin It
James Franco

James Franco shuts down a satirical play about himself

His lawyers sent a cease and desist for the two-man play titled, James Franco and Me, which was set to open in New York

James Franco l o v e s the arts: jumping from Freaks and Geeks sweetheart to Spring Breakers east coast rapping gangster, having a hand in just about every porn drama imaginable, dipping into gooey art, screenwriting, directing mockumentaries. But try and emulate him in your own art and you can fuck right off.

Franco’s lawyers stepped in to shut down an upcoming performance of the play James Franco and Me in New York. The play, written and performed by Kevin Broccoli, was meant to premiere this August at the Peoples Improv Theatre.

A cease-and-desist letter was sent to the show, and its planned performance at the theatre was cancelled. However, it ran in Rhode Island for three weeks without any legal trouble prior to this.

The play is described as a “fantasy comedy”, in which the playwright, Broccoli, plays himself. As the Daily Dot reports, the play sees Broccoli in a hospital waiting room, waiting on his dying father. Franco (a fictional one), joins him and they begin an existential, bizarre discussion about life and death. The original production had cast 13 different actors for 13 shows: a whole crowd of fake Francos. However, the person playing Franco never rehearsed with Broccoli before any show, with one actually never having met Broccoli before a performance.

“I was a little disappointed,” Broccoli said of the legal action, to The New York Times. “I’m not someone who’s trying to get into legal entanglements by any means, but anyone who comes to see the show would see that it’s totally satire and within fair use guidelines.”

“I’ve always been kind of fascinated with (Franco) because of how much product he puts out,” Broccoli said. “The play is about mortality and making the most of what you have. I imagined that if anyone would be game for this it’d be him.”

Broccoli plans to host a performance of the show in Cranston, Rhode Island, for one night August 12: this time, titled ____ and Me. The playwright says he will step down from his own role, until it makes its way back to New York. 

“I’m still really hoping it’ll work out,” he added. “We’re not done by any means.”