‘The Room’ Stars Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero on Reuniting for ‘Best F(r)iends’

Fifteen years ago, the world was introduced to the best friendship of Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero with the premiere of Wiseau’s directorial hallmark “The Room.” The film, which is considered the “’Citizen Kane of bad movies’,” became a cult hit, spawning midnight screenings across the nation and now worldwide where fans quote iconic lines […]

Fifteen years ago, the world was introduced to the best friendship of Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero with the premiere of Wiseau’s directorial hallmark “The Room.” The film, which is considered the “’Citizen Kane of bad movies’,” became a cult hit, spawning midnight screenings across the nation and now worldwide where fans quote iconic lines […]

‘Justice League’ Storms to Top of DVD, Blu-ray Disc Sales Charts

Warner’s “Justice League” led a slew of newcomers that debuted in the top 20 of the national home video sales charts the week ended March 17. The superhero team-up adventure, which earned $229 million at the domestic box office, came in at No. 1 on both the NPD VideoScan overall disc sales chart, which tracks […]

Warner’s “Justice League” led a slew of newcomers that debuted in the top 20 of the national home video sales charts the week ended March 17. The superhero team-up adventure, which earned $229 million at the domestic box office, came in at No. 1 on both the NPD VideoScan overall disc sales chart, which tracks […]

‘The Room’ Creators Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero Would Like You to Watch Their Two-Part Movie Inspired By ‘Breaking Bad’

The pair’s newest venture? “Best F(r)iends,” a two-part dark comedy about a road trip they took up the California Coast.

“Let me stop you right there,” said Tommy Wiseau, the mastermind behind “The Room.” He doesn’t want to think about how his long-awaited moment of Hollywood glory may have been cut short when James Franco faced accusations of sexual misconduct shortly after he accepted a Golden Globe for his performance in “The Room.” Nor is he interested in the lawsuit filed by Franco’s former UCLA student, Ryan Moody, over an associate producing credit on the film. “This has nothing to do with us, let’s talk about the topic of positive thinking.”

What followed was an extended lecture on how “respect equals success,” and “negative always creates negative. This is my new thing for 2018.”

"The Disaster Artist"

Dave Franco and James Franco as Sestero and Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist

A24

And ultimately, “The Disaster Artist” was nothing but positive for Wiseau and his best friend, “The Room” costar Greg Sestero, who said it provided “a great learning experience of what it’s like to make a good film.”

So much so that he wanted to try again, with Wiseau. Sestero wrote and co-produced “Best F(r)iends,” a two-part dark comedy about a road trip they took up the California Coast. Wiseau plays a mortician, a foil to Sestero’s drifter. Part one will screen in 600 theaters on March 30 and April 2, while the follow-up is set for a June 1 and 4 release.

“I’d been inspired by a lot of the new wave of TV shows like ‘Breaking Bad’ and kind of those noir-type thrillers,” said Sestero, who also referenced the works of Alfred Hitchcock and Tennessee Williams. “I thought it would be really interesting to try to make that, try to tap into a story and make something with Tommy and put him in a role that I think he could really shine in.”

Read More: Tommy Wiseau’s Video Audition to Play The Joker Is More Insane Than It Sounds — Watch

Acknowledging that “The Room” never graced a best-of list, Wiseau added that Franco “took the risk, and I think that just because he was serious and respectful towards Greg, and my persona, and my creation, audiences embraced ‘The Disaster Artist.’”

Sestero concurred, “People wanted to make this movie off of passion…This wasn’t treated as some spoof comedy that was taken lightly. You get to the set, and they were so into it and so organized, and it was just such a happy group of people working so hard.”

Until Simon & Schuster agreed to publish their memoir of making “The Disaster Artist,” Sestero said, “no one really got it,” with agents wondering, “‘What do we need to read a book about this movie [for?]?’” All along, Sestero’s goal was “really for the story to become its own great film,” so he studied books like “In Cold Blood,” “127 Hours,” and “Ed Wood: Nightmare of Ecstasy” before recapping how “The Room” tested his friendship with Wiseau.

The Disaster Artist Dave Franco James Franco

“The Disaster Artist”

A24

“Even though it goes through so much turmoil and so much craziness, at the end, the story has kind of a happy ending,” said Sestero. “The characters prevail and they’re still very present. They didn’t turn to drugs or have tragedy; they’re here and they’re able to kind of get a piece of their dream, and I thought that was something I hadn’t heard before.”

“The Disaster Artist” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital. 

Sharon Stone Defends James Franco Against Sexual Misconduct Claims: ‘I’m Appalled With What’s Happening to Him’

Franco was accused of sexual misconduct by five of his former acting students in January.

Sharon Stone doesn’t believe all of the sexual misconduct claims against James Franco. The actress, who appears in a small role in Franco’s “The Disaster Artist,” was a guest on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast and said she is “appalled” by the allegations against her director. Franco was accused in January of sexual misconduct by five of his former acting students.

“I’m appalled with what’s happening with [Franco],” Stone said. “Where the girlfriend can say that she’s offended that he asked [her to perform oral sex], while they’re dating and now all of a sudden, he’s a bad guy.”

Stone is referring to Violet Paley, who accused Franco of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in a parked car in 2016. Franco and Paley were in a consensual romantic relationship at the time. Paley alleges the couple had never engaged in oral sex prior to the moment in the car.

“I got to say I worked with him, I know him, he’s the loveliest, kindest, sweetest, most elegant, nicest man,” Stone continued. “Most kind friend, lovely professional. I’m absolutely appalled by this.”

Stone went on to explain how there’s a difference between sexual harassment and “stupid” inappropriate behavior. The actress explained: “You go out with them, they bring you home for a good-night kiss and they grab your hand and put it on their penis. I don’t think they’re trying to sexually harass me, I think they’re just incredibly stupid and awkward.”

In these instances, Stone said that women should not accuse men of harassment and instead should say, “Please don’t ever call me again because you’re too stupid to date.”

The actress has been a supporter of the #MeToo movement for months and told “CBS Sunday This Morning” earlier this year that she had experienced sexual harassment herself as an actress in the past.

“I’ve been in this business for 40 years, Lee,” Stone said. “Can you imagine the business I stepped into 40 years ago? Looking like I look, from nowhere, Pennsylvania? I didn’t come here with any protection. I’ve seen it all.”

In addition to “The Disaster Artist,” Shone was recently featured more prominently in Steven Soderbergh’s HBO limited series “Mosaic.”

Tommy Wiseau Tried to Bum Oscars Tickets Off Mark Hamill on Twitter

Tommy Wiseau wasn’t at the Oscars Sunday, but it wasn’t for lack of trying snag a couple of tickets.

“The Room” writer, director and actor took to Twitter to try to charm a ticket out of Mark Hamill, who presented during the 90th Academy Awards ceremony. While Wiseau appealed to the “Star Wars” actor with his signature “The Room” line — “Oh hi Mark!” — and got an answer from Luke Skywalker himself, it wasn’t quite enough to get Wiseau and “The Room” co-star Greg Sestero to the show.

Also Read: How the Lyrics of Weird Al’s ‘Yoda’ Came True in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

In fact, the Force wasn’t even with Hamill, who said he couldn’t get extra tickets for anybody — not even his own kids. He also took the opportunity to thank Wiseau for originating a line Hamill has apparently heard quite a few times since “The Room” became something of a cult hit.

Oh hi Mark ! Use The Force and get Greg and I into The #Oscars @TheAcademy @jimmykimmel @JimmyKimmelLive @HamillHimself https://t.co/orYSYpKK7z

— Tommy Wiseau (@TommyWiseau) March 4, 2018

Oh hi Tommy! Wish I could help you but I can’t even get extra #Oscars tickets for my kids. I really owe you since now whenever people greet me I get to hear the quote from The Room. Plus-if you saw #LastJedi you’d know (SPOILER ALERT) I turned off The Force. https://t.co/wO6OYZVsWi

— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) March 4, 2018

The exchange between the two actors had quite a few fans losing it.

You did not turn off the Force! You did NOT! pic.twitter.com/cx0vFHoNYl

— Brian Danuff (@briandanuff) March 4, 2018

Also Read: Here’s Why the Luke Skywalker of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Doesn’t Feel Like Luke (Commentary)

@HamillHimself @TommyWiseau this is going to break the Internet!! ???????? pic.twitter.com/gp9284HOso

— Christine Casagrande (@XtineBigHouse) March 4, 2018

I’m never deleting this app

— Ben Philippe (@gohomeben) March 4, 2018

pic.twitter.com/UQNbVKczHC

— Nairb (@iRTlikecrazy) March 4, 2018

Also Read: Did You Catch This Fan Favorite ‘Star Wars’ Character’s Death in ‘The Last Jedi’?

Wiseau might not have found any help getting to the Oscars among the Jedi, but he did make it to an awards show this year. Wiseau appeared on stage with James and Dave Franco at the Golden Globes in January. James Franco accepted the award for best actor in a comedy or musical for playing Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist,” the movie he and his brother made about the making of “The Room,” based on Sestero’s book.

While James Franco brought both Wiseau and his brother on stage for his acceptance speech, he stopped short of allowing Wiseau to speak during the show. Maybe Wiseau was hoping for some Force assistance in that department this time, since he had something he wanted to say last time.

Hamill wasn’t the only “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” actor to present at the Oscars. He joined Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran and the rolling droid BB-8 on stage to announce the winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short.

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Tommy Wiseau wasn’t at the Oscars Sunday, but it wasn’t for lack of trying snag a couple of tickets.

“The Room” writer, director and actor took to Twitter to try to charm a ticket out of Mark Hamill, who presented during the 90th Academy Awards ceremony. While Wiseau appealed to the “Star Wars” actor with his signature “The Room” line — “Oh hi Mark!” — and got an answer from Luke Skywalker himself, it wasn’t quite enough to get Wiseau and “The Room” co-star Greg Sestero to the show.

In fact, the Force wasn’t even with Hamill, who said he couldn’t get extra tickets for anybody — not even his own kids. He also took the opportunity to thank Wiseau for originating a line Hamill has apparently heard quite a few times since “The Room” became something of a cult hit.

The exchange between the two actors had quite a few fans losing it.

Wiseau might not have found any help getting to the Oscars among the Jedi, but he did make it to an awards show this year. Wiseau appeared on stage with James and Dave Franco at the Golden Globes in January. James Franco accepted the award for best actor in a comedy or musical for playing Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist,” the movie he and his brother made about the making of “The Room,” based on Sestero’s book.

While James Franco brought both Wiseau and his brother on stage for his acceptance speech, he stopped short of allowing Wiseau to speak during the show. Maybe Wiseau was hoping for some Force assistance in that department this time, since he had something he wanted to say last time.

Hamill wasn’t the only “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” actor to present at the Oscars. He joined Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran and the rolling droid BB-8 on stage to announce the winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ryan Seacrest Didn't Ask a Single #MeToo or #TIMESUP Question on Oscars Red Carpet

Oscars: Best Jokes From Jimmy Kimmel's Opening Monologue

Oscars: Ryan Seacrest Avoids Mentioning Kevin Spacey, #TIMESUP in Christopher Plummer Interview (Video)

'SNL': Charles Barkley Can't Understand Anyone in 'Star Wars' (Video)

How the Lyrics of Weird Al's 'Yoda' Came True in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

James Franco’s Ex-Student Sues Over ‘Disaster Artist’ Writing Credit; Producers Deny “Specious Accusations”

UPDATED at 7:30 p.m. with a statement from DISASTER ARTIST Producers Rabbit Bandini, Point Grey & Good Universe, who deny all of the allegations.
A former student of James Franco’s at UCLA is suing the actor’s Rabbit Bandini Productions and Seth Rogan’s Point Grey Pictures, claiming breach of contract stemming from an uncredited role as screenwriter on The Disaster Artist.
Ryan Moody said he was working as Franco’s unofficial teaching assistant in a UCLA English class…

UPDATED at 7:30 p.m. with a statement from DISASTER ARTIST Producers Rabbit Bandini, Point Grey & Good Universe, who deny all of the allegations. A former student of James Franco’s at UCLA is suing the actor’s Rabbit Bandini Productions and Seth Rogan’s Point Grey Pictures, claiming breach of contract stemming from an uncredited role as screenwriter on The Disaster Artist. Ryan Moody said he was working as Franco’s unofficial teaching assistant in a UCLA English class…

James Franco’s Production Company Sued Over ‘The Disaster Artist’ Script

James Franco’s former teaching assistant Ryan Moody is suing Franco’s RabbitBandini Productions and Seth Rogen’s Point Grey Pictures over the script for “The Disaster Artist,” alleging that Moody was “induced” to sell the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated movie for $5,000, and as part of the deal would receive a credit on the film that he never received.

The suit said that Moody Franco and RabbitBandini managing agents Violet Jolivette and Iris Torres promised him an associate producer credit on “The Disaster Artist” if he sold the script, and give him the opportunity to write and direct the “similarly budgeted” movie “On the Bus.”

“In fact, however, RabbitBandini considered ‘On the Bus’ to be a micro-budget film and, after Moody had signed away his rights to ‘The Disaster Artist,’ Jolivette eventually told Moody that RabbitBandini would produce ‘On the Bus’ on a $50,000 budget,” the lawsuit said. “Moreover, RabbitBandini did not give Moody an associate producer (or any other) credit on ‘The Disaster Artist.’”

Also Read: James Franco Erased From Vanity Fair Cover After Sexual Misconduct Accusations

The suit, which was filed Feb. 28  in the Superior Court of California, continued: “Had Moody been aware of the true facts, he never would have sold ‘The Disaster Artist’ for only $5,000 and he brings that action to rescind that agreement.”

The suit also says that Jolivette and Torres threatened Moody that unless he sold his rights to the movie, RabbitBandini would not work with him again.

Moody eventually agreed to the sale because he was afraid to lose valuable contacts in the industry, but when Jolivette reduced the ‘On the Bus’ budget, he “realized he had been played.”

Also Read: James Franco Will Return for ‘The Deuce’ Season 2 After Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Moody was Franco’s teaching assistant in 2013 for Next Class and an English class Franco was teaching at UCLA at the time. The suit says that Franco asked Moody to write an adaptation of the book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room,’ and requested a draft by November 2013. Moody said he spent “upwards of 60 hours per week on the screenplay” in addition to his assisting duties.

Moody worked on the script from November 2013 to March 2014, when Franco told him he was going to be replaced by different writers. While Moody was hesitant to leave the project, he eventually conceded and signed away his rights on May 2014.

Moody then tried to work with RabbitBandini on ‘On the Bus,’ but realized the production company was “not serious” about making the movie when the budget was slashed.

TheWrap could not reach RabbitBandini or Point Grey for comment. A rep for Franco did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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James Franco’s former teaching assistant Ryan Moody is suing Franco’s RabbitBandini Productions and Seth Rogen’s Point Grey Pictures over the script for “The Disaster Artist,” alleging that Moody was “induced” to sell the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated movie for $5,000, and as part of the deal would receive a credit on the film that he never received.

The suit said that Moody Franco and RabbitBandini managing agents Violet Jolivette and Iris Torres promised him an associate producer credit on “The Disaster Artist” if he sold the script, and give him the opportunity to write and direct the “similarly budgeted” movie “On the Bus.”

“In fact, however, RabbitBandini considered ‘On the Bus’ to be a micro-budget film and, after Moody had signed away his rights to ‘The Disaster Artist,’ Jolivette eventually told Moody that RabbitBandini would produce ‘On the Bus’ on a $50,000 budget,” the lawsuit said. “Moreover, RabbitBandini did not give Moody an associate producer (or any other) credit on ‘The Disaster Artist.'”

The suit, which was filed Feb. 28  in the Superior Court of California, continued: “Had Moody been aware of the true facts, he never would have sold ‘The Disaster Artist’ for only $5,000 and he brings that action to rescind that agreement.”

The suit also says that Jolivette and Torres threatened Moody that unless he sold his rights to the movie, RabbitBandini would not work with him again.

Moody eventually agreed to the sale because he was afraid to lose valuable contacts in the industry, but when Jolivette reduced the ‘On the Bus’ budget, he “realized he had been played.”

Moody was Franco’s teaching assistant in 2013 for Next Class and an English class Franco was teaching at UCLA at the time. The suit says that Franco asked Moody to write an adaptation of the book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room,’ and requested a draft by November 2013. Moody said he spent “upwards of 60 hours per week on the screenplay” in addition to his assisting duties.

Moody worked on the script from November 2013 to March 2014, when Franco told him he was going to be replaced by different writers. While Moody was hesitant to leave the project, he eventually conceded and signed away his rights on May 2014.

Moody then tried to work with RabbitBandini on ‘On the Bus,’ but realized the production company was “not serious” about making the movie when the budget was slashed.

TheWrap could not reach RabbitBandini or Point Grey for comment. A rep for Franco did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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James Franco Will Return for 'The Deuce' Season 2 After Sexual Misconduct Accusations

James Franco Erased From Vanity Fair Cover After Sexual Misconduct Accusations

James Franco Accuser Calls Star 'Exploitative' But 'Absolutely Not a Harvey Weinstein'

James Franco Shut Out of Oscar Nominations After Sexual Misconduct Accusations

James Franco Tricked ‘The Disaster Artist’s Original Screenwriter Into Selling His Script for $5,000, Claims Lawsuit

Ryan Moody says he was told he would receive an associate producer credit.

Ryan Moody, who wrote an early draft of what became “The Disaster Artist,” has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was tricked into selling his script for a mere $5,000. A former student of James Franco’s at UCLA, Moody says he was hired to adapt Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s book about the making of “The Room” in 2013 and continued working on the project until March 2014, when Franco told him he wanted to replace him with more established scribes.

“Hey,” Franco wrote in an email dated April 2, 2014 and obtained by Variety. “Seth and evan [Goldberg] and [James] weaver want you on as an assoc producer and to give notes on every draft. Cool? Get going on ‘on the bus,’ that’s yours.”

“On the Bus” was Moody’s passion project, and he claims he was told its production budget would be in the same range as that of “The Disaster Artist.” Though he originally wanted to retain his writer credit, Moody agreed to waive it; two years later he was told that “On the Bus” would only have a budget of $50,000.

“At that point, Moody realized that he had been played,” according to the suit. Moody was apparently unaware that he didn’t receive an associate-producer credit on the film until it was released late last year.

‘The Disaster Artist’: How Tommy Wiseau Became the Muse for Two Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber also address recent allegations made against the film’s director and star, James Franco.

ConsiderThis

Long before Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber were Oscar-nominated screenwriters, they received a package from James Franco and Seth Rogen that left them confused. The actors, whom they’d never met, sent them a memoir by Greg Sestero: “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made.”

Neustadter and Weber are known for writing dramas about romantic relationships, beginning with their Film Independent Spirit Award-winning script for “(500) Days of Summer,” inspired by Neustadter’s love life. Their biggest commercial success, “The Fault in Our Stars” ($307 million worldwide), starred Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as cancer-stricken teens. More recently, they wrote the Netflix drama “Our Souls at Night” starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. “The Spectacular Now” and “Paper Towns” came in between.

Twentieth Century Fox chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, Wyck Godfrey, Elizabeth Gabler, Josh Boone, Ansel Elgort, Shailene Woodley, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber at Fox 2000 Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment celebration of the enormous success of The Fault in Our Stars with a dedication of a replica of the iconic bench from the film held at Fox Studios, in Los Angeles, CA"The Fault in Our Stars" Cast Reunites for Bench Dedication, Los Angeles, USA

Twentieth Century Fox chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, “The Fault in Our Stars” producer Wyck Godfrey, Elizabeth Gabler, director Josh Boone, stars Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley, and screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber

Alexandra Wyman/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

While they also wrote “The Pink Panther 2” with Steve Martin, comedy is not their comfort zone. During the January 31 WGA panel “Beyond Words,” which featured fellow Oscar nominees Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele, and Aaron Sorkin, Neustadter emphasized: “We are not funny people.” A few days later, at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s “It Starts with the Script” panel, Weber insisted: “It takes us all day to write one joke.”

Even so, Franco and Rogen wanted them to write about making “The Room,” the cult hit that’s considered a premiere example of terrible filmmaking and an uproarious, if accidental, comedy. Self-financed by its writer, star, and director Tommy Wiseau for a reported $6 million, it made just $1,800 during its initial two-week release.

Nearly 15 years since its debut, “The Room” has become the 21st century’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Midnight showings regularly sell out with fans running sprints in the aisles, hurling spoons at the screen, and barking continuity goofs. The film opens with three back-to-back sex scenes. When a character’s mother advises her to stay with her rich boyfriend because “His position is very secure,” a favorite response is, “His position is very secure — missionary!”

When Neustadter and Weber finally met Rogen and Franco, it wasn’t a long courtship. They had an in-person meeting and a phone call or two, enough to confirm they shared the same cinematic touchstones for “The Disaster Artist” like “Ed Wood,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and “Boogie Nights.” That was enough for Neustadter and Weber to begin writing.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by Justina Mintz/Warner Bros/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9238223b)Michael H. Weber, James Franco"The Disaster Artist" Film- 2017

“It’s a real story, but it comes with its own set of hilarious things [so] that we didn’t have to bend over backward to make funny,” said Neustadter in an interview at the Hollywood offices of the film’s distributor, A24.

Added Weber, “The emotional stakes are, ‘Can the friendship survive this experience they go through together of making this movie?’”

That’s a question Neustadter and Weber, both 40, have faced for nearly half their lives. The first time they spoke was when then-Syracuse University student Weber cold-called Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Prods., seeking an internship; Neustadter answered. Neustadter was a recent University of Pennsylvania grad, and Weber joined him in the development department before becoming De Niro’s assistant and, for a while, the person who archived every costume and prop the two-time Oscar winner has ever worn onscreen.

“You think the bar for what passes for an acceptable script in this industry is at a certain height, and then you realize, ‘Oh, the stuff that agencies are sending around, that producers are circulating … the bar’s a lot lower,'” Weber said. “That, I think, gave us the confidence to think, ‘You know what? Let’s try writing something together.'”

Michael H Weber, Zooey Deschanel and Scott Neustadter2009 Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, America - 26 Oct 2009

“(500) Days of Summer” star Zooey Deschanel flanked by Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter in 2009

Jim Smeal/BEI/REX/Shutterstock

Starting around 2001, Neustadter and Weber wrote three scripts in 18 months, including “(500) Days of Summer.” They never work in the same room: Back then, Neustadter filed his pages from the Upper West Side while Weber wrote from the Lower East Side. Today, Weber remains in New York City, while Neustadter has relocated to Southern California, where he is a married father of two. (Acknowledged Weber at that Santa Barbara panel: “We still get nothing accomplished when we’re together.”)

Their process involves lots of phone and email conversations before drafting an outline. Then they write separately for a day or two, exchange copy, make edits, and share the results. If both shrug off the chance to write a scene, Weber said they get on the phone: “If neither one of us is excited to write this, who’s going to read it, let alone watch it?”

While Neustadter was a born movie geek, Weber wasn’t. “We just couldn’t afford it, like I was the tagalong friend going with my friend and their family,” he said. That changed at Syracuse, where he hid from the snow by watching three or four movies a day. “Movies sort of taught me adulthood,” he said. “I always knew I wanted to write, I just didn’t know what, and it was those years freezing my ass off, watching all those movies, that I was like, ‘Oh, I want to write these.'”

"The Disaster Artist"

Dave Franco and James Franco in “The Disaster Artist”

Courtesy of A24

While Wiseau and “The Room” are now part of the Los Angeles culture (“That billboard, it’s the scariest goddamned thing in the world,” Weber said in Santa Barbara), they needed to ensure their script would land for the uninitiated. Neustadter and Weber decided not to see “The Room” until they had written their first “Disaster Artist” draft. (Neustadter eventually caved, watching it on his laptop.)

James Franco Used Tommy Wiseau’s Voice While Directing ‘The Disaster Artist’ — Literally

What they did do, however, was keep Wiseau at bay. While negotiating the rights to his life story — without an attorney — Wiseau mandated that he could provide script notes. So, a “Disaster Artist” producer became the designated listener, spending 10-plus hours on the phone with Wiseau (His changes did not have to be implemented, only heard). Wiseau also secured his own scene with Franco, with hair and makeup approval, and the right to name his own character. However, Wiseau forgot to demand the scene’s inclusion. (It follows the credits.) Neustadter and Weber guess that, in his mind, Wiseau believes he made “The Disaster Artist.”

Dave Franco James Franco Disaster Artist

Dave Franco and James Franco in “The Disaster Artist”

Courtesy of A24

The writers — and even Dave Franco, who plays Sestero — had their doubts about James Franco’s decision to cast himself and his brother as wildly dissimilar characters who go from strangers to sidekicks. A table read changed everything: “That was the first time we really heard the [Wiseau] voice, and we were like, ‘Okay … it’s going to work because of just how [James Franco]’s inhabiting the character,’ and you laughed, but you also felt something for him,” said Weber.

Weber added that once they had the script, Franco safeguarded it. “To Franco’s credit — it’s not always like this — he was so protective of the script,” he said. “There are directors who use the script as just a way to get to set, and then do whatever they want.” Instead, Franco “always made sure that we shot what was scripted, because he knew that you can mess around and come up with new funny, but you can’t mess around and come up with new emotional stakes … that was what the movie lived or died [on], whether or not you felt something for these guys and you felt something when the friendship starts to fracture.”

James Franco, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber'The Disaster Artist' Variety film screening series, Los Angeles, USA - 04 Jan 2018

James Franco, Scott Neustadter, and Michael H. Weber following a pre-Golden Globes screening of “The Disaster Artist”

VARIETY/REX/Shutterstock

Awards season began as a victory lap for Franco, who received near-universal praise for tackling the enigmatic Wiseau. Then, immediately following his Golden Globes acceptance speech — where he was accompanied onstage by Wiseau — women on social media, including former collaborator Ally Sheedy, implied that they had been sexual harassed by Franco, who wore a Time’s Up pin to the ceremony.

Four days later, on January 11, The Los Angeles Times published accounts from five women who claimed they were mistreated by Franco, including actresses on film sets. On the talk show circuit that week, Franco responded that the accusations were “not accurate,” but he would not “actively refute” them. Neustadter and Weber picked up the film’s lone Oscar nomination, after winning Best Adapted Screenplay from the National Board of Review (they also garnered USC Libraries Scripter Award and Writers Guild Award nominations).

“We find out things or read things or hear about things at the same time as everyone else,” said Weber. “There was never a hint of an issue or a problem or anything on our set. And frankly, if there had been, we would have said something. Years ago, years even before this movement, we were on a set that will remain nameless, that a producer made an inappropriate comment to an actor about something, that just made someone feel uncomfortable … The director and I pulled the producer aside and we’re like, ‘That can never happen again. Here’s how you made someone feel, and there’s just no tolerance.’ So we understand the changes that are going on right now, we support them, it’s long overdue.”

Neustadter chimed in: “At the same time, this is a very positive movie, it was about dreams and friendship and uplifting things, and all that stuff. So any association with anything negative is a bit of a shame for us … But there’s nothing that can be done about it. We support everything that’s happening, and we hope that it makes some change and if this is collateral damage, then that’s small potatoes.”

"The Disaster Artist"

James Franco in “The Disaster Artist”

A few years after becoming members of The Academy, they can barely believe that they will attend their first ceremony — for writing a comedy, no less. Still, Neustadter said he half expects the industry to “catch on that we don’t know what we’re doing.”

Ultimately, that may be the biggest reason they decided to adapt “The Disaster Artist”: They saw themselves in Wiseau and Sestero. “It wasn’t that long ago we were outsiders, dying to break into the business,” said Weber. “We believed in each other when no one else believed in us, when most of the people around us thought our dream was ridiculous. That’s Tommy and Greg’s story.”

Additional reporting by Anne Thompson.

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How ‘Disaster Artist’ Writers Created Story of Friendship for Director-Star James Franco

A24’s “The Disaster Artist” is all about defying expectations. The 2003 Tommy Wiseau film “The Room” was a fiasco, but became an enduring hit. And in his 2017 movie about the making of the film, director-star James Franco approached this camp material with a straight face, finding heart and warmth where most people would find […]

A24’s “The Disaster Artist” is all about defying expectations. The 2003 Tommy Wiseau film “The Room” was a fiasco, but became an enduring hit. And in his 2017 movie about the making of the film, director-star James Franco approached this camp material with a straight face, finding heart and warmth where most people would find […]

‘Call Me by Your Name’ Wins Scripter Award for Adapted Screenplay

“Call Me by Your Name” has been named the year’s best screen adaptation at the 2018 USC Libraries Scripter Award ceremony, winning an honor that goes both to the writer of the screenplay and the author of the original work from which the script was adapted.

Scripter Awards went to André Aciman, who wrote the original novel on which the film is based, and James Ivory, who wrote the screenplay.

The Scripter winner has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the last seven years in a row, and nine times in the last 10 years. All five of the Oscar nominees in the category – “Call Me by Your Name,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Logan,” “Molly’s Game” and “Mudbound” – were also nominated for the Scripter Award, along with “The Lost City of Z” and “Wonder Woman.”

Also Read: ‘Get Out,’ ‘Lady Bird,’ ‘The Disaster Artist’ Nominated for Writers Guild Awards

The film is also the favorite in the adapted-screenplay category at the Writers Guild Awards, which will be handed out on Sunday.

The Scripter Award for a television adaptation, a category that was created in 2016, went to screenwriter Bruce Miller and author Margaret Atwood for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Other TV nominees were the miniseries “Alias Grace,” the TV movie “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and episodes of “Big Little Lies,” “Genius” and “Mindhunter.”

The selections were made by a committee of screenwriters, critics, authors, producers and academics, chaired by the former president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman.

The black-tie 30th anniversary Scripter Award ceremony took place in the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the USC campus, and was also a fundraiser for the USC Libraries.

Francis Ford Coppola, who went to film school  at USC’s crosstown rival UCLA, received the Scripter Literary Achievement Award.

Also Read: ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Lost City of Z’ Get Nominations in Crowded Scripter Awards Field

The Scripter Award winners and nominees:

FILM
“Call Me by Your Name”: author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory *WINNER
“The Disaster Artist”: screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”
“Logan”: screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein and John Romita, Sr.
“The Lost City of Z”: screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann
“Molly’s Game”: screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom
“Mudbound”: screenwriters Dee Rees and Virgil Williams and author Hillary Jordan
“Wonder Woman”: screenwriter Allan Heinberg and author William Moulton Marston

TELEVISION
“Alias Grace”: screenwriter Sarah Polley and author Margaret Atwood
“Big Little Lies”: screenwriter David E. Kelley for the episode “You Get What You Need” and author Liane Moriarty
“Genius”: screenwriters Noah Pink and Ken Biller for the episode “Einstein: Chapter One” and author Walter Isaacson for his book “Einstein: His Life and Word”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”: screenwriter Bruce Miller for the episode “Offred” and author Margaret Atwood *WINNER
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”: screenwriters Peter Landesman, George C. Wolfe, and Alexander Woo and author Rebecca Skloot
“Mindhunter”: screenwriters Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley for “Episode 10” and authors John Douglas and Mark Olshaker for their nonfiction book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Writers Guild Announces ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ on Sexual Harassment

Jimmy Kimmel’s Oscars Writers Room Has More Men Than Women: ‘There Are Going to Be Some Surgeries’

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Better Call Saul’ Among Writers Guild TV Nominees

“Call Me by Your Name” has been named the year’s best screen adaptation at the 2018 USC Libraries Scripter Award ceremony, winning an honor that goes both to the writer of the screenplay and the author of the original work from which the script was adapted.

Scripter Awards went to André Aciman, who wrote the original novel on which the film is based, and James Ivory, who wrote the screenplay.

The Scripter winner has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the last seven years in a row, and nine times in the last 10 years. All five of the Oscar nominees in the category – “Call Me by Your Name,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Logan,” “Molly’s Game” and “Mudbound” – were also nominated for the Scripter Award, along with “The Lost City of Z” and “Wonder Woman.”

The film is also the favorite in the adapted-screenplay category at the Writers Guild Awards, which will be handed out on Sunday.

The Scripter Award for a television adaptation, a category that was created in 2016, went to screenwriter Bruce Miller and author Margaret Atwood for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Other TV nominees were the miniseries “Alias Grace,” the TV movie “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and episodes of “Big Little Lies,” “Genius” and “Mindhunter.”

The selections were made by a committee of screenwriters, critics, authors, producers and academics, chaired by the former president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman.

The black-tie 30th anniversary Scripter Award ceremony took place in the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the USC campus, and was also a fundraiser for the USC Libraries.

Francis Ford Coppola, who went to film school  at USC’s crosstown rival UCLA, received the Scripter Literary Achievement Award.

The Scripter Award winners and nominees:

FILM
“Call Me by Your Name”: author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory *WINNER
“The Disaster Artist”: screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”
“Logan”: screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein and John Romita, Sr.
“The Lost City of Z”: screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann
“Molly’s Game”: screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom
“Mudbound”: screenwriters Dee Rees and Virgil Williams and author Hillary Jordan
“Wonder Woman”: screenwriter Allan Heinberg and author William Moulton Marston

TELEVISION
“Alias Grace”: screenwriter Sarah Polley and author Margaret Atwood
“Big Little Lies”: screenwriter David E. Kelley for the episode “You Get What You Need” and author Liane Moriarty
“Genius”: screenwriters Noah Pink and Ken Biller for the episode “Einstein: Chapter One” and author Walter Isaacson for his book “Einstein: His Life and Word”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”: screenwriter Bruce Miller for the episode “Offred” and author Margaret Atwood *WINNER
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”: screenwriters Peter Landesman, George C. Wolfe, and Alexander Woo and author Rebecca Skloot
“Mindhunter”: screenwriters Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley for “Episode 10” and authors John Douglas and Mark Olshaker for their nonfiction book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Writers Guild Announces 'Zero Tolerance Policy' on Sexual Harassment

Jimmy Kimmel's Oscars Writers Room Has More Men Than Women: 'There Are Going to Be Some Surgeries'

'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' 'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Better Call Saul' Among Writers Guild TV Nominees

James Franco Digitally Removed From Vanity Fair Hollywood Cover After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Four women have publicly accused Franco of sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior, including his former acting students,

Vanity Fair has digitally removed James Franco from the cover of its annual Hollywood issue in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Franco was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the cover and was set to appear opposite the likes of Michael B. Jordan, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Claire Foy, and Michael Shannon, but the publication decided to remove him.

Franco was accused of sexual misconduct by five women in a report from The Los Angeles Times published on January 11. Four of the accusers were Franco’s former acting students who say Franco created an environment on sets in which women faced sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior. Franco has not commented publicly on the allegations outside of appearances on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” He called the allegations “not accurate.”

Franco was widely considered to be a lock for a Best Actor Oscar nominations after earning a Golden Globe win and a Screen Actors Guild nomination in the same category. The Los Angeles Times published its report a day before Oscar nomination ballots were due. Franco was shut out of the Oscars when nominations were announced January 23.

“We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him,” a Vanity Fair spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. The cover had already been assembled, so Franco was photoshopped out.

The Weinstein Effect Evident In Oscar Nominations

Harvey Weinstein, the ultimate impresario of the Oscars campaign, has again reshaped the Academy Awards — though in a way that he could hardly have anticipated while at the zenith of his power and influence.
The allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Weinstein sparked a #MeToo movement that has removed others touched by the taint of misconduct from Oscar contention this year.
James Franco, whose acclaimed portrayal of Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, was…

Harvey Weinstein, the ultimate impresario of the Oscars campaign, has again reshaped the Academy Awards — though in a way that he could hardly have anticipated while at the zenith of his power and influence. The allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Weinstein sparked a #MeToo movement that has removed others touched by the taint of misconduct from Oscar contention this year. James Franco, whose acclaimed portrayal of Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, was…

James Franco Accuser Calls Star ‘Exploitative’ But ‘Absolutely Not a Harvey Weinstein’

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Two women who have accused “Disaster Artist” star James Franco of inappropriate behavior appeared on “GMA” on Tuesday morning, where one said the actor “created exploitative environments” but is “absolutely not a Harvey Weinstein.”

“He is not an unfeeling monster who has no sense of reality,” Sarah Tither-Kaplan continued her answer when asked where Franco falls on the Hollywood abuse spectrum. “He created exploitative environments for non-celebrity women on his sets, [but] I also think James is a talented and valuable person.”

“It is a pyramid and at the top is rape and sexual violence, and at the bottom are the other abuses of power that when they continue to happen over and over build and build and create a culture that allows the most heinous examples of sexual violence and misogyny and discrimination to happen,” the 26-year-old aspiring filmmaker told Amy Robach. “And so if we allow any of them, we’re allowing all of them.”

Also Read: James Franco Shut Out of Oscar Nominations After Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Tither-Kaplan told the “Good Morning America” anchor that Franco is “not an unforgivable person” to her. She’d like to see him use “his power to give opportunities to women that are real and valuable and actually give them career advancement,” Tither-Kaplan concluded her remarks.

As for aspiring comedy writer Violet Paley, who said Franco was a bit forceful on a date with her, she mostly just wants an apology. Paley added that she is “regretful” of continuing a consensual sexual relationship with Franco after an initial incident.

Watch the video above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Alison Brie Addresses Brother-in-Law James Franco’s Sexual Misconduct Accusations

James Franco Should Go to the Oscars ‘With His D— Out,’ Sharon Osbourne Says (Video)

Ashley Judd Praises James Franco’s ‘Terrific’ Response to Sexual Misconduct Accusations


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Two women who have accused “Disaster Artist” star James Franco of inappropriate behavior appeared on “GMA” on Tuesday morning, where one said the actor “created exploitative environments” but is “absolutely not a Harvey Weinstein.”

“He is not an unfeeling monster who has no sense of reality,” Sarah Tither-Kaplan continued her answer when asked where Franco falls on the Hollywood abuse spectrum. “He created exploitative environments for non-celebrity women on his sets, [but] I also think James is a talented and valuable person.”

“It is a pyramid and at the top is rape and sexual violence, and at the bottom are the other abuses of power that when they continue to happen over and over build and build and create a culture that allows the most heinous examples of sexual violence and misogyny and discrimination to happen,” the 26-year-old aspiring filmmaker told Amy Robach. “And so if we allow any of them, we’re allowing all of them.”

Tither-Kaplan told the “Good Morning America” anchor that Franco is “not an unforgivable person” to her. She’d like to see him use “his power to give opportunities to women that are real and valuable and actually give them career advancement,” Tither-Kaplan concluded her remarks.

As for aspiring comedy writer Violet Paley, who said Franco was a bit forceful on a date with her, she mostly just wants an apology. Paley added that she is “regretful” of continuing a consensual sexual relationship with Franco after an initial incident.

Watch the video above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Alison Brie Addresses Brother-in-Law James Franco's Sexual Misconduct Accusations

James Franco Should Go to the Oscars 'With His D— Out,' Sharon Osbourne Says (Video)

Ashley Judd Praises James Franco's 'Terrific' Response to Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Oscars 2018: James Franco Shut Out of Best Actor Race Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Franco has been accused of sexual harassment by four women, including former acting students who say he acted sexually exploitative around them.

James Franco’s name was left off the Best Actor race when the 90th Academy Awards were announced earlier this morning. Franco was in contention for a nomination thanks to his lead role in “The Disaster Artist.” The actor is currently at the center of several sexual harassment allegations. Franco was last nominated for an Oscar in 2011 for his role in Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours.”

The Los Angeles Times published a report on January 11 in which five women went on record accusing Franco of sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior. Four of the accusers were Franco’s former acting students. Franco has not commented publicly on the allegations outside of appearances on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” He called the allegations “not accurate.”

Many prognosticators expected Franco’s performance in “The Disaster Artist” to earn an Oscar nomination after the actor won prizes at both the Golden Globe Awards and the Critics’ Choice Awards earlier this year. Franco also earned a Screen Actors Guild nomination, which is often a good omen for an Oscar nom.

It’s important to note that Oscar nomination ballots were due January 12, the day after the first Franco allegations were published in the Los Angeles Times. Whether or not the allegations affected Franco’s Oscar chances will be hard to know definitively. Just before nominations were announced, “Good Morning America” ran an interview segment with Franco’s accusers.

James Franco Snubbed for Oscar Nomination Amid Sexual Misconduct Claims

James Franco was snubbed for a best actor Oscar nomination for his performance in “The Disaster Artist,” just as he’s fielding accusations of sexual misconduct. Instead, Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”), and Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”) were nominated. In a […]

James Franco was snubbed for a best actor Oscar nomination for his performance in “The Disaster Artist,” just as he’s fielding accusations of sexual misconduct. Instead, Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”), and Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”) were nominated. In a […]

USC Scripter Awards Nominations: Ties Make For Loaded Flim & TV Field

USC Libraries has unveiled the finalist for its 30th annual Scripter Awards, which honor adapted screenplays as well as the author of the original works. This year, there were ties in both the feature film and TV categories, meaning seven screenplays made the list on the movie side and six on the TV side.
Finalists were selected from a field of 91 film and 28 TV adaptations, with author Margaret Atwood the only writer to land two nominations: with Bruce Miller for Hulu’s…

USC Libraries has unveiled the finalist for its 30th annual Scripter Awards, which honor adapted screenplays as well as the author of the original works. This year, there were ties in both the feature film and TV categories, meaning seven screenplays made the list on the movie side and six on the TV side. Finalists were selected from a field of 91 film and 28 TV adaptations, with author Margaret Atwood the only writer to land two nominations: with Bruce Miller for Hulu’s…

James Franco Further Addresses Sexual Misconduct Allegations on Seth Meyers

James Franco addressed sexual harassment allegations against him for the second night in a row when Seth Meyers questioned the actor during an interview Wednesday on “Late Night.” Five women, four of whom were his former acting students, came forward to accuse Franco of sexually inappropriate or exploitative behavior in a report published Thursday by the Los […]

James Franco addressed sexual harassment allegations against him for the second night in a row when Seth Meyers questioned the actor during an interview Wednesday on “Late Night.” Five women, four of whom were his former acting students, came forward to accuse Franco of sexually inappropriate or exploitative behavior in a report published Thursday by the Los […]

Will James Franco Accusations Hurt His Chances for Oscar, SAG and Spirit Awards?

James Franco has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Film Independent Spirit Award for his performance as D-movie director Tommy Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist,” and he’s considered a strong candidate for an Oscar nomination as well.

Now what?

Since Franco won the Golden Globe on Sunday for his performance, five women have come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior, which he has denied. But the timing of the three awards shows matters in terms of the potential fallout. A rundown:

Screen Actors Guild Awards
On December 13, Franco was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for “The Disaster Artist,” which he also directed. Final voting, which is open to more than 100,000 SAG-AFTRA members who are current on their dues, began on December 19 and runs through January 19, with the 24th SAG Awards taking place on January 21.

Also Read: James Franco Won’t ‘Actively Refute’ Sexual Misconduct Accusations: ‘I’m Just Letting It Be’

That means that more than three weeks of the four-and-a-half-week voting period had already taken place before the first accusations against Franco were made public, and that 24 days of the 31-day voting window had already elapsed before the five women spoke out in the Los Angeles Times.

The accusations may well hurt his chances with those who have yet to cast ballots, but a win at SAG was always a real long shot for Franco, who is up against Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) and Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”) and doesn’t have the advantage of competing in a comedy-specific category as he did at the Golden Globes.

So while his chances of a win have gotten smaller, they weren’t very big to begin with.

Academy Awards
The Oscars’ outlook for Franco (and for the real-life Wiseau, who is no doubt aching to get a ticket to the Dolby Theatre) is trickier. The voting window for nominations only lasts a single week, from January 5 through January 12; according to one of the longtime balloting leaders at the Academy’s accounting firm, PwC, a large number of voters typically cast their ballots right away, and then votes trickle in until another large batch of last-minute ballots are cast.

The members of the Actors Branch who voted early would have done so without knowing about the accusations against Franco, which didn’t really gain traction until the morning after the Globes, January 8. And the most damning claims, the ones contained in the L.A. Times story, didn’t break until only two days were left in the eight-day voting period.

Also Read: James Franco Tells Stephen Colbert Sexual Misconduct Accusations ‘Not Accurate’

Because the Oscars’ preferential system of nominations voting rewards passionate support over consensus choices, Franco could already have picked up enough votes to obtain a nomination even if late voters shun him.

But with Oldman, Chalamet and Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”) the only sure things, Franco is in a tight race with the likes of Tom Hanks (“The Post”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Stronger”) for the last two slots, and an 11th-hour controversy could possibly tip the scales.

But the allegations are unlikely to have much impact in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, where “The Disaster Artist” writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber are considered strong candidates for a nomination.

Film Independent Spirit Awards
Franco would have been one of the favorites to win the Spirit Award for Best Male Lead, along with Chalamet and Kaluuya. (Harris Dickinson and Robert Pattinson are also nominated this year.) But in this case, it’s far too early to say what kind of impact the accusations might have, because voting doesn’t begin until February 3. (It then runs through Feb. 16.)

His fate at these awards, which are voted on by a mixture of industry figures and fans who pay yearly dues to join Film Independent, are entirely dependent on what happens with the Franco story over the next three and a half weeks.

Also Read: 77 Hollywood and Media Heavyweights Accused of Sexual Misconduct Since Harvey Weinstein

Related stories from TheWrap:

James Franco Accused of Sexually Exploitative Behavior by 5 Women

New York Times Cancels James Franco Event After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Golden Globes: What Tommy Wiseau Wanted to Say on Stage During James Franco’s Speech

James Franco has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Film Independent Spirit Award for his performance as D-movie director Tommy Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist,” and he’s considered a strong candidate for an Oscar nomination as well.

Now what?

Since Franco won the Golden Globe on Sunday for his performance, five women have come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior, which he has denied. But the timing of the three awards shows matters in terms of the potential fallout. A rundown:

Screen Actors Guild Awards
On December 13, Franco was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for “The Disaster Artist,” which he also directed. Final voting, which is open to more than 100,000 SAG-AFTRA members who are current on their dues, began on December 19 and runs through January 19, with the 24th SAG Awards taking place on January 21.

That means that more than three weeks of the four-and-a-half-week voting period had already taken place before the first accusations against Franco were made public, and that 24 days of the 31-day voting window had already elapsed before the five women spoke out in the Los Angeles Times.

The accusations may well hurt his chances with those who have yet to cast ballots, but a win at SAG was always a real long shot for Franco, who is up against Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) and Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”) and doesn’t have the advantage of competing in a comedy-specific category as he did at the Golden Globes.

So while his chances of a win have gotten smaller, they weren’t very big to begin with.

Academy Awards
The Oscars’ outlook for Franco (and for the real-life Wiseau, who is no doubt aching to get a ticket to the Dolby Theatre) is trickier. The voting window for nominations only lasts a single week, from January 5 through January 12; according to one of the longtime balloting leaders at the Academy’s accounting firm, PwC, a large number of voters typically cast their ballots right away, and then votes trickle in until another large batch of last-minute ballots are cast.

The members of the Actors Branch who voted early would have done so without knowing about the accusations against Franco, which didn’t really gain traction until the morning after the Globes, January 8. And the most damning claims, the ones contained in the L.A. Times story, didn’t break until only two days were left in the eight-day voting period.

Because the Oscars’ preferential system of nominations voting rewards passionate support over consensus choices, Franco could already have picked up enough votes to obtain a nomination even if late voters shun him.

But with Oldman, Chalamet and Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”) the only sure things, Franco is in a tight race with the likes of Tom Hanks (“The Post”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Stronger”) for the last two slots, and an 11th-hour controversy could possibly tip the scales.

But the allegations are unlikely to have much impact in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, where “The Disaster Artist” writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber are considered strong candidates for a nomination.

Film Independent Spirit Awards
Franco would have been one of the favorites to win the Spirit Award for Best Male Lead, along with Chalamet and Kaluuya. (Harris Dickinson and Robert Pattinson are also nominated this year.) But in this case, it’s far too early to say what kind of impact the accusations might have, because voting doesn’t begin until February 3. (It then runs through Feb. 16.)

His fate at these awards, which are voted on by a mixture of industry figures and fans who pay yearly dues to join Film Independent, are entirely dependent on what happens with the Franco story over the next three and a half weeks.

Related stories from TheWrap:

James Franco Accused of Sexually Exploitative Behavior by 5 Women

New York Times Cancels James Franco Event After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Golden Globes: What Tommy Wiseau Wanted to Say on Stage During James Franco's Speech

James Franco Accused Of ‘Sexually Inappropriate And Exploitative Behavior’ By Five Women

James Franco has been accused of sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior by five women, days after he denied reports on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
Five women have made allegations against The Disaster Artist star, who won a Golden Globe for his performance, in an article by the Los Angeles Times. Four of the women were students that Franco coached, while one said he was her “mentor”.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who appeared in a number of Franco-led…

James Franco has been accused of sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior by five women, days after he denied reports on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Five women have made allegations against The Disaster Artist star, who won a Golden Globe for his performance, in an article by the Los Angeles Times. Four of the women were students that Franco coached, while one said he was her "mentor". Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who appeared in a number of Franco-led…

Stephen Colbert taped his show just in time to ask James Franco about those sexual misconduct allegations

Like everyone else these days, late-night hosts (and their bookers) are constantly on the alert for the next high-profile entertainment figure accused of sexual abuse, harassment, or general creepiness. For example, Stephen Colbert and his Late Show staff had time back in November to axe a scheduled appearance by

Read more…

Like everyone else these days, late-night hosts (and their bookers) are constantly on the alert for the next high-profile entertainment figure accused of sexual abuse, harassment, or general creepiness. For example, Stephen Colbert and his Late Show staff had time back in November to axe a scheduled appearance by

Read more...