Dave Franco

Universal Pictures

Hot on the heels of the massive success of Neighbors, stand-out supporting star Dave Franco has locked down his first potential starring franchise (because, yes, the Jump Street series is totally awesome, but that’s all the Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill show, and we all know it), and despite the title of its source material, this one could actually lead to a string of dark comedy outings, not straight thrillers.

Thank goodness, we got a little worried there, ready to burn down Hollywood for not giving Franco the comedy franchise he deserves.

THR reports that Sony Pictures has picked up the rights to Shane Kuhn’s novel “The Intern’s Handbook: A Thriller,” with an eye to turn the book into a Franco-starring franchise. Here’s hoping that the film will somehow necessitate a Robert De Niro impersonation, Jinxy cat and all.

Publisher Simon & Schuster shares the synopsis for Kuhn’s book:

John Lago is a hitman. He has some rules for you. And he’s about to break every single one.

John Lago is a very bad guy. But he’s the very best at what he does. And what he does is infiltrate top-level companies and assassinate crooked executives while disguised as an intern.

Interns are invisible. That’s the secret behind HR, Inc., the elite “placement agency” that doubles as a network of assassins for hire who take down high-profile targets that wouldn’t be able to remember an intern’s name if their lives depended on it.

At the ripe old age of almost twenty-five, John Lago is already New York City’s most successful hit man. He’s also an intern at a prestigious Manhattan law firm, clocking eighty hours a week getting coffee, answering phones, and doing all the grunt work actual employees are too lazy to do. He was hired to assas­sinate one of the firm’s heavily guarded partners. His internship provides the perfect cover, enabling him to gather intel and gain access to pull off a clean, untraceable hit.

Part confessional, part DIY manual, The Intern’s Handbook chronicles John’s final assignment, a twisted thrill ride in which he is pitted against the toughest—and sexiest—adversary he’s ever faced: Alice, an FBI agent assigned to take down the same law partner he’s been assigned to kill.

He’s a hitman, but he’s also an intern! You can almost hear the pitch right now. For Franco, who is actually already twenty-eight-years-old, a film that riffs on his young looks and powers of, well, just looking really young, The Intern’s Handbook sounds like kind of a perfect fit. And it’s funny — really! we checked! — with some sexy stuff and some action and probably some weird office humor all thrown in for good measure. It’s a kitchen sink affair, and if Franco really wants to get into the leading man business, this sounds like a fun way to get there.

Kuhn’s book hit shelves on April 8, so you can pick it up now, and it’s — obviously — the first in a planned trilogy. Franchise work, Franco. It looks good on you.

The first film will be penned by Oren Uziel, who contributed to the 22 Jump Street screenplay, and who is also working on scripts for Men in Black 4 and the movie adaptation of the Chuck Klosterman novel “Downtown Owl.”

The film will be produced by Brad Mendelsohn, David Alpert, Ori Mamur and Neil Moritz, with Moritz commented on Franco’s chops and the new project: “We really feel like he’s the next star. We just think he has immense talent as a leading man, and he’s someone who can do humor. He’s paid his dues. He’s built a great resume of co-starring roles, and he’s ready to be a lead. He’s not some guy being plucked from nowhere and told he’s the next big thing.”

 

 


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