Busy creative that he is, James Franco has any number of projects going at any given moment. One he’s been working on for quite a long minute is an adaptation of Steve Erickson’s 2007 novel Zeroville. With the film now in post-production, Embankment has shared an early trailer for the movie.
The preview is, frankly, a bit hard to read. It’s a scattershot of scenes that are trying to establish a vibe more so than any kind of story — though even in that, the “vibe” seems a bit muddled. It’s certainly some sort of satirical, comedic look at life in Hollywood circa 1969, so the weird energy of the trailer makes some level of sense in context.
What’s clear is the film has a solid and familiar cast: Franco directs and stars as Vikar, whose journey into the glitz and strangeness of Hollyweird leads to encounters with characters played by Seth Rogen, Megan Fox, Dave Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Jacki Weaver, and Will Ferrell. Take a look at the trailer above, and find the official synopsis below. Update: Per the studio, the above trailer is not official and has been removed.
A proto-punk Forrest Gump comes to Hollywood….
Join VIKAR (James Franco), a wide-eyed innocent in love with the movies, on one wicked trip to the heart of a pulsating, kaleidoscopic Hollywood. Naïve newcomer to the City of Angels, carrying nothing but his “outsider” past and a huge tattoo of Montgomery Clift & Elizabeth Taylor inked on his shaved skull; driven by the allure of cinema to the glittering temptations of Zeroville; a town where anything goes.
Encounter the parasites, the punks, the wannabes, the power-brokers and the crazies: meet VIKING MAN (Seth Rogen) – gatekeeper to all the right parties, a cigar-chomping surf hippie; Vikar’s eccentric Hollywood guide.
You’ll encounter: foul-mouthed industry veteran DOTTY (Jacki Weaver); the sinister FINANCIER (Danny McBride); sexy femme fatale SOLEDAD (Megan Fox) – a haunted “dame”, the electric charge to trigger Vikar’s breath-taking dive into the captivating world where movies are made.
Profoundly magical, funny, unsettling, and gorgeous – a love letter to Los Angeles and provocative satire of America’s fascination with itself, its cult of celebrity; a vision of the death of Old Hollywood.
ZEROVILLE: Where Nobody Knows Anything