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James Franco cast in post-World War II drama after sexual misconduct controversy

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James Franco has been cast in a lead role in director Bille August’s post-World War II coming-of-age drama Me, You.

Based on the novel Tu, Mia by Erri De Luca, Me, You is set in the 1950s and follows 16-year-old Marco, who spends his days “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 war following his military service as a US GI”.

An official logline reads: “Deeply tender and bittersweet, Me, You explores the raw beauty and tragedy of love, the age of innocence and the bitter realities of war.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Franco will play Nicola in the upcoming drama, alongside Tom Hollander (The Night Manager) as Marco’s father Edward and Daisy Jacob (Vanity Fair) as Marco’s love interest Caia.

James Franco
James Franco CREDIT: Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images

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

Franco stepped away from acting following a series of sexual misconduct allegations in 2018 made by multiple women. In 2019, students at Franco’s now-defunct acting school Studio 4 sued the actor and his partners, accusing them of pushing acting students to perform explicit scenes on camera. Franco and his partners agreed to pay $2,235,000 (£1,673,568) to settle the lawsuit in 2021.

The actor discussed the allegations last year during an interview on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Podcast, admitting he had slept with students while teaching at the school.

“Over the course of my teaching, I did sleep with students, and that was wrong,” Franco said. “But like I said, it’s not why I started the school and I wasn’t the person that selected the people to be in the class. So it wasn’t a ‘master plan’ on my part. But yes, there were certain instances where, you know what, I was in a consensual thing with a student and I shouldn’t have been.”

Earlier this year, Franco was cast in action thriller Mace from The Singing Detective director Jon Amiel.

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