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Multihyphenated actor-director-writer James Franco is an extremely busy man. This means, and we’re boldly saying this with absolute certainly, he’ll never get all the projects he’d like to made. Still, a man can dream, can’t he? Here are the four novels he’s keen to turn into films – and, handily, they also work as suggestions for what you might read next...

HAM ON RYE By Charles Bukowski

“A semi-autobiographical story set in California during the Great Depression. Bukowski was a master of writing about himself as a loser in life and using painful material in a way that’s both poignant and humorous. He embodied the way an artist can conquer his circumstances because, no matter how much his alter ego is punished, he’s the winner because the material is so good.”

THE SOUND AND THE FURY By William Faulkner

“Actually, I am about to direct this. Shooting starts in September. It’s an epic tragedy, packing in 30 years of a rich family’s lifetime. Faulkner was so innovative with this book that my adaptation has the potential to fulfill two aspects at once: I can capture an American classic and, because of the stylistic innovations of the words, can also try something new in filmmaking terms.”

HOUSE OF LEAVES By Mark Z Danielewski

“There’s a great narrative to this book. The centre of it is about a mysterious labyrinth underneath a family’s home, but there are multiple stories within the book that are woven together brilliantly. Furthermore, Mark takes the text away from its linguistic properties for imagistic means: the different ways the text sits on the page affect the way the book is read.”


“One of my all-time favourites. It’s based on a real group of scalp hunters who massacred Native Americans. The way we view the historical expansion of the Old West has changed since the Western’s cinematic heyday, and in this story there are no heroes. McCarthy’s very colourful in his descriptions of the scorched, blood-soaked lands and shocking violence.”

James Franco is currently promoting crowd-funding website Indiegogo to help his filmmaker collaborators adapt his own novel Palo Alto