What happened to James Franco?

There was a time when James Franco was a bit of a Hollywood darling and put iconic roles in awe like it was nothing. Those days are now far behind. Why do we hear so little about him these days?

Well, there are several reasons we suspect for that. Let’s see how it is that we still see very little James Franco in the mainstream.

James was in HBO’s fantastic series The Deuce, about Manhattan’s — scene of the ’70s, from 2017 to 2019.This is his most recent major role. In between and in the year after the show, things fell a bit quiet. In 2017, James’ IMDB page had 15 more productions. And there are quite a lot of them. But if you add up all his roles in 2018 and 2019 & in 2020 there won’t be a single Franco film coming out – you don’t even end up with that number. So, he’s drastically scaled back his acting life.

And that could also be because of his life behind the camera. Also, the reason that we actually lost sight of James a bit. The films, documentaries and shorts he directed – we now count almost forty of them – are…well, almost without exception no highflyers. He can really speak of happiness if he gets a pass on IMDB. That’s hardly the case. The Artist is the big exception. That film – about the cult film of the cult films The Room by Tommy Wiseau – was even nominated for an Oscar.

Anyway, the rest of his films, in which James himself also (almost) always plays a role, are not such big studio releases that they also get an extensive marketing campaign, so it is not available to a large audience. No, we don’t want to say that either. That suggests that there is a certain quality attached to it, but that is absolutely not the case if we are to believe reviewers. His latest film, Zeroville from 2019, is exemplary in that regard: 23% on Rottentomatoes…

MeToo accusations

Perhaps the main reason James disappeared from the public eye: MeToo accusations. In 2018, more and more women came out with their stories. James is said to have behaved inappropriately during acting classes in his now defunct acting school. For example, one of those women, actress Sarah Tither-Kaplan, said there was an atmosphere of “abuse of power and women’s exploitation.”

The following year, another alleged victim was added and now James has even been charged, including by Tither-Kaplan. Earlier this year, he had his lawyers file a request to dismiss the case. James denies all the allegations and believes the women are “exploiting the #metoo movement. “Franco believes fervently in the justice of the #metoo and Times Up movement,” the court documents read. “Many reprehensible individuals have been brought down, but in this case an innocent man has also become entangled in the net.”