In the first trailer for The Disaster Artist - based on Greg Sestero's tell-all about the making of the cult-classic disasterpiece The Room - James Franco plays writer/director/star Tommy Wiseau, who turned a multi-million dollar budget into the cheapest looking, worst acted, most all-around terrible movie quite possibly of all time. He's a big movie star.
The Disaster Artist was written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber and is based on the book from Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. We also get a sense that Franco isn't making a total mockery of Wiseau; in a weird parallel, Franco's commitment to channeling Wiseau seems to match Wiseau's commitment to...whatever has most recently popped up in his head. We're hoping the movie is as great as the cast. Greg, for his part, is a pretty normal dude, so every time he goes to pursue an independent interest like his career or a romantic relationship, Tommy reacts poorly, which further strains their friendship. Franco's Tommy repeatedly insists that "Acting is truth", and in the post-screening Q&A, the real Sestero described the movie as "terrifyingly true". They understand kinship, having a shorthand, and lifting the other person up when they're feeling down. If we're going to be busy this award season celebrating Gary Oldman's transformation into Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, then we also have to do the same for Franco becoming Wiseau. However, what started as a hard production got progressively worse, as Wiseau's unusual filming methods got increasingly extreme, his money ran out, and not least that Tommy's acting style was unique to say the least.
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Sometimes life imitates art, and sometimes art imitates, well, The Room.
The Disaster Artist is a complicated film to describe. On Tuesday, Franco released the first full-length look at The Disaster Artist, and it's quite possibly the best trailer of the year.