The Disaster Artist (film)

Last updated on 18 September 2017

The Disaster Artist is a 2017 American biographical comedy film starring, directed and co-produced by James Franco. Written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, based on Greg Sestero's non-fiction book of the same name, the film chronicles the making of Tommy Wiseau's 2003 cult film The Room. The film stars James Franco as Wiseau and Dave Franco as Sestero, alongside a supporting cast featuring Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson and Jacki Weaver.

Principal photography of the film began on December 8, 2015. It had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 12, 2017, and also screened at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11. Distributed by A24, the film is scheduled to have a limited release in the United States on December 1, 2017, before opening wide on December 8, 2017.

TheDisastorArtistTeaserPoster.jpg
TheDisastorArtistTeaserPoster.jpg

Plot

The film depicts the meeting and early friendship of the actor Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau, the actor, writer and director behind the 2003 cult film The Room, a film often hailed as the Citizen Kane of bad movies, the troubled making of it and their respective careers after the surprising success of the film.

Cast

Celebrity cameos include Bryan Cranston,[8] Zach Braff, J. J. Abrams, David DeCoteau, Lizzy Caplan, Kristen Bell, Keegan-Michael Key, Adam Scott, Danny McBride,[9] Angelyne and Tommy Wiseau.[10]

Production

Development

In February 2014, Seth Rogen's production company Point Grey Pictures announced it had acquired the book and film rights to The Disaster Artist. James Franco would direct and play Wiseau, and his brother Dave Franco would star as Sestero. Franco stated The Disaster Artist was "a combination of Boogie Nights and The Master."[11] According to Franco, Wiseau initially had hoped Johnny Depp would play him, although he later agreed to let Franco play the role.[12] At one point the title was reported to have changed from The Disaster Artist to The Masterpiece in April 2016,[13] though The Disaster Artist was confirmed as the official title when the film's SXSW premiere was announced.[14]

Casting

In June 2014, James Franco's younger brother, Dave Franco, informally announced at a midnight showing of The Room that he had been cast in the co-starring role of Greg Sestero. When Tommy Wiseau was asked in a Q&A session for his thoughts about Franco playing Sestero, Wiseau praised the decision.[15] The film marks the first collaboration of Dave with his brother James, as the younger Franco had claimed to seek different projects deliberately, stating in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, "I didn't want people to think I was riding his coattails."[16] As New Line Cinema sought to acquire The Disaster Artist in October 2015, one of the film's producers and frequent James Franco collaborator, Seth Rogen, was negotiating for the role of The Room's script supervisor Sandy Schklair.[17] Schklair expressed concern over the film's portrayal of him, as Rogen did not pursue contact with him, despite his offers to sit down and discuss the film.[18] The remainder of the principal cast was revealed in the days prior to the beginning of filming in early December 2015: Josh Hutcherson plays Philip Haldiman, Ari Graynor as Juliette Danielle, Jacki Weaver as Carolyn Minnott, Hannibal Buress as Bill Meur, Andrew Santino as Scott Holmes, and Zac Efron as Dan Janjigian.[19][20][21][22] Dave Franco's then-fiancée, Alison Brie, joined the cast in the role of Sestero's then-girlfriend.[23] Sharon Stone was later announced to have been cast as Hollywood talent agent Iris Burton.[24] Sestero announced in January 2016 that Bryan Cranston was cast in the movie in an undisclosed role, then announced in November 2016 that he would be playing himself during his time working on Malcolm in the Middle.[25]

Music

Dave Porter composed the film's score.[26]

Filming

Principal photography began on December 8, 2015, in Los Angeles.[27] Filming ended on January 28, 2016.[28]

Release

The film had its work in progress premiere at South by Southwest on March 12, 2017.[29][30][14] In May 2017, A24 acquired distribution rights to the film, and set the film for a limited release on December 1, 2017, before opening wide on December 8.[31] Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute the film internationally.[32]

Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 93% based on 27 reviews, with an average rating of 7.9/10.[33] Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 77 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[34]

At the film's initial screening at South by Southwest, it received a standing ovation.[35][36]

Erik Childress of The Playlist gave the film a positive review, dubbing Franco's performance his "best performance since his Oscar-nominated turn in 127 Hours." Further, he wrote that "as a director it is nice to finally see him embrace the comfort zone of comedy with enough cameos to rival Robert Altman's The Player."[37] Peter Debruge of Variety also gave the film a positive review, calling it a "genuine capacity to delight, whether or not the audiences in question have seen The Room."[38]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Rechtshaffen, Michael (March 13, 2017). "'The Disaster Artist': Film Review | SXSW 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  2. ^ McNary, Dave (May 15, 2017). "James Franco Comedy ‘The Disaster Artist’ Gets Awards-Season Release From A24". Variety. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Disaster Artist". tiff. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  4. ^ Kit, Borys (December 10, 2015). "Alison Brie Joining James Franco's 'The Disaster Artist'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Browzer, Sam (August 11, 2016). "The Disaster Artist: A Night with Greg Sestero". Browzer. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  6. ^ Fearon, Alana (7 June 2016). "Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally bring their Summer of 69: No Apostrphe tour to Dublin". dublinlive.ie. MGN Limited. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  7. ^ Wagmaster, Elizabeth. "‘Freaks and Geeks’ Reboot? Judd Apatow Teases ‘Anything Can Happen’". Variety. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  8. ^ Thomas, Sarah (2 November 2016). "Bryan Cranston's surprise new cameo role harks back to Malcolm in the Middle". smh.com. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  9. ^ Rosen, Christopher (March 13, 2017). "James Franco's 'The Room' Movie Receives Standing Ovation at SXSW". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  10. ^ Chitwood, Adam (22 March 2016). "‘The Disaster Artist’: James Franco Reveals Tommy Wiseau Has a Contractually Obligated Cameo". collider.com. Complex Media. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  11. ^ Deadline Team (February 4, 2014). "James Franco’s Production Company Acquires Book About So-Bad-It’s-Good Cult Movie ‘The Room’". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  12. ^ Yuan, Jada. "James Franco’s The Disaster Artist Is a Great Movie About a Terrible One". Vulruew. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  13. ^ "James Franco's Disaster Artist Gets First Still And A New Name". Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movie, TV News. 2016-04-18. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  14. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 7, 2017). "James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ About Cult Pic ‘The Room’ Added To SXSW; Midnighters & More Announced". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  15. ^ Lussier, Germain (June 29, 2014). "Dave Franco Joins Brother In Film Based On Making Of ‘The Room’". /Film. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  16. ^ Reyes, Mike. "Dave Franco Explains Why It Took So Long To Work With James Franco". Cinemablend. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  17. ^ Ford, Rebecca (October 29, 2015). "James Franco, Seth Rogen Take On Cult Classic 'The Room' for New Line". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  18. ^ McDonagh, Ross (December 10, 2015). "James and Dave Franco don wigs on set of their first ever film together The Disaster Artist about the 'worst movie ever made'". Mail Online. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  19. ^ Ford, Rebecca (December 3, 2015). "Josh Hutcherson Joins James Franco in 'The Disaster Artist' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  20. ^ Ford, Rebecca (December 7, 2015). "Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver, Hannibal Buress, Andrew Santino Join 'The Disaster Artist' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  21. ^ Kit, Borys (December 8, 2015). "Zac Efron Joining Seth Rogen, James Franco in 'Disaster Artist' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  22. ^ Longmire, Becca (December 17, 2015). "Kate Upton flaunts serious cleavage in busty sheer dress on set of The Disaster Artist". Daily Express. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  23. ^ Kit, Borys (December 10, 2015). "Alison Brie Joining James Franco's 'The Disaster Artist' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  24. ^ Kit, Borys (December 16, 2015). "Sharon Stone Joins James Franco, Seth Rogen in 'The Disaster Artist' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  25. ^ Thomas, Sarah (November 2, 2016). "Bryan Cranston's surprise new cameo role harks back to Malcolm in the Middle". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  26. ^ "Dave Porter to Score James Franco's 'The Masterpiece'". Film Music Reporter. August 3, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  27. ^ Hall, Jacob (December 8, 2015). "Oh Hi First Look at James Franco as Tommy Wiseau in 'The Disaster Artist'". Slash Film. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  28. ^ "The Disaster Artist wraps filming in Los Angeles". thelocationguide.com. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  29. ^ "The Disaster Artist". Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  30. ^ McNary, Dave (February 7, 2017). "James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ to Premiere at SXSW". Variety. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  31. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (May 15, 2017). "A24 & New Line To Release James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ In December". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  32. ^ McNary, Dave (May 15, 2017). "James Franco Comedy ‘The Disaster Artist’ Gets Awards-Season Release From A24". Variety. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  33. ^ "The Disaster Artist (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  34. ^ "The Disaster Artist reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  35. ^ Rosen, Christopher (March 13, 2017). "James Franco's The Disaster Artist receives standing ovation". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  36. ^ Seetoodeh, Ramin (March 13, 2017). "Is James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ Already an Oscar Contender?". Variety. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  37. ^ Childress, Erik (March 14, 2017). "‘The Disaster Artist’ Is A Masterpiece For Fans Of ‘The Room,’ But What About Everyone Else? [SXSW Review]". The Playlist. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  38. ^ Dubruge, Peter (March 13, 2017). "SXSW Film Review: ‘The Disaster Artist’". Variety. Retrieved March 14, 2017.

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