James Franco Casts Bryan Cranston As Himself For ‘The Masterpiece’

By December 31, 2016

In the years following Breaking Bad, series star Bryan Cranston has tackled a wide variety of roles. But an upcoming project may offer his most interesting challenge yet: Portraying himself in James Franco’s The Masterpiece.

Speaking with the South China Morning Post (via The Playlist), Franco revealed that Cranston’s involvement came about while the two were waiting for production to commence on Why Him, which recently hit theaters, and that this film would actually be their third collaboration.

“It took eight months for (Why Him) to go ahead and I asked Bryan to play Sheriff in In Dubious Battle, and then I directed The Masterpiece and he did that too. I asked if he would play himself, and he actually plays a version of himself from the early 2000s, so it’s Bryan Cranston from Malcolm in the Middle.

“It just speaks to his love of cinema that he supports his fellow artists.”

Based on Greg Sistero’s nonfiction book The Disaster Artist, Franco’s film chronicles the making of Tommy Wiseau’s disastrous cult film The Room, with Franco playing Wiseau and his younger brother Dave Franco in the role of Sistero. Curiously, Zach Braff also is rumored to be portraying himself in the film, which indicates we may get a Scrubs-era version of the actor to fit alongside Cranston’s reversion to his own younger days.

With a supporting cast that also includes Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Alison Brie and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, The Masterpiece wrapped filming nearly a full year ago, but still doesn’t have a release date. Rumors are swirling the film may debut as a surprise screening during the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, or perhaps will be a featured attraction at South by Southwest in Texas.

But so far those reports are unsubstantiated.

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Brent Hankins

Brent Hankins

Contributing Writer at GeekNation
Brent Hankins is a member of the Phoenix Critics Circle and co-host of the Drinks and Discourse podcast. He's also the proud owner of an Italian Greyhound named Sullivan. He's adorable (the dog, not the author).
  • One-Eye

    THE DISASTER ARTIST is an incredible book. I can’t wait to see the movie of it.

    There’s so many little details I wonder if they’ll capture, like Wiseau spending thousands building himself a private toilet on the set, but only having a curtain for a door. He would then get cranky when cast and crew wanted more drinking water available on set in a warehouse without air conditioning.

    In a town full of posers Tommy Wiseau is a genuine eccentric. Often enigmatic, sometimes monstrous, but always fascinating.