James Franco cast in post-WWII coming-of-age film… following sexual misconduct controversy

James Franco has landed a role in the upcoming drama film Me, You as he continues his return to the spotlight following accusations of sexual misconduct.

The actor, 44, will be playing a ‘hardened fisherman’ who beguiles a teenage boy with his ‘wounded tales of the sea and the war following his military service as a US GI,’ according to The Hollywood Reporter.

‘I am excited to board this phenomenal project and to be working with the legendary Bille August,’ Franco said, according to THR. ‘I’m a huge fan of his work, and Me, You is a truly brilliant script.’

James Franco has landed a role in the upcoming post-World War II coming-of-age drama film, Me, You; pictured 2018

Described as a coming-of-age, post-World War II film, the movie is an adaptation of the Erri De Luca novel Tu, Mia. It also stars Tom Hollander and Daisy Jacob.

The film will be helmed by Danish director Bille August and principal photography will begin this September in Ischia.

Director: Danish director Bille August, pictured August 2022, will be helming Me, You

Director: Danish director Bille August, pictured August 2022, will be helming Me, You

The film is set in 1950s Ischia and follows Marco, a 16-year-old who spends time ‘sailing in the tranquil waters of the bay of Naples with hardened fisherman Nicola… who beguiles Marco with his wounded tales of the sea and the was following his military service as a US GI,’ according to THR, citing a plot description.

‘Shy and curious, Marco sets out to experience all that his enchanting new surroundings, so far removed from his native London and gloomy Scottish boarding school, have to offer,’ the description continues.

Marco then goes on vacation with his parents (his father will be played by Hollander) and falls in love with the ‘enigmatic’ Caia, 20 (Daisy Jacob).

‘A beautiful complexity is established between the two when Caia reveals her painful past; a childhood stolen by the SS and a father who thew his daughter out of a train in Yugoslavia to save her from the horrors of a concentration camp. The harrowing stories of Nicola and Caia awaken a ferocious resentment for the SS in Marco and, when he encounters a group of rude German tourists on the island, he decides to avenge Caia’s pain.

‘This sets off alarm bells for Caia who avoids him but, fueled by his infatuation and impossible love for her, Marco plans an arson attack on the German’s villa to prove himself worthy of Caia’s affections.’

The film is among several roles Franco is currently attached to as he mounts a career comeback following his sexual misconduct controversy.

In January 2018, the actor was accused of sexual misconduct by five women, four of his ex-students and one who said he was her mentor in a report published by the Los Angeles Times.

One claimed that Franco removed a protective plastic guard covering actresses’ vaginas and simulated oral sex on them while filming a scene for a movie, while another said he asked actresses to remove their shirts on set.

Two of the women later sued the Spider Man star, saying he intimidated students at his now-defunct Studio 4 acting school into gratuitous and exploitative sexual situations.

Franco initially denied all of the allegations but settled for $2.2 million in July with the two women who sued him.

The actor said last year on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Podcast that he thought sleeping with students was ‘cool’ because it was ‘consensual,’ but admitted he was ‘completely blind to power dynamics … but also completely blind to people’s feelings.’

Speaking on the show, Franco said he ‘did sleep with students, and that was wrong.’

He also admitted he could ‘never be faithful to anybody’ before meeting 29-year-old actress Isabel Pakzad who he has been dating since November 2017.

Actress Charlyne Yi who accused Franco of being a ‘sexual predator’ earlier this year reposted tweets criticizing the actor on her Instagram feed, including one which said: ‘Took 4 years [for a response to the allegations] and still seems lacking and performative. He didn’t know teachers sleeping with students crossed a boundary due to power imbalance? yikes.’

Franco blamed his infidelities and inappropriate behavior on a sex addiction he has suffered from since giving up alcohol as a teenager.

‘It’s such a powerful drug,’ he explained on The Jess Cagle Podcast. ‘I got hooked on it for 20 more years. The insidious part of that is that I stayed sober from alcohol all that time.

‘And I went to meetings all that time. I even tried to sponsor other people. So in my head, it was like, ‘Oh, I’m sober. I’m living a spiritual life.’ Where on the side, I’m acting out now in all these other ways, and I couldn’t see it.’

Franco said he has been in recovery from sex addiction since 2016 and has ‘been doing a lot of work’ after the allegations against him ‘and changing who I was.’

‘I didn’t want to hurt people,’ he said.

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