James Franco In Talks to Star as Famous Pick-Up Artist (And General Skeeze) in ‘The Game’

Oh, James Franco, you make the most fun decisions! According to THR, actor-author-writer-director-unsatisfied Oscar host-student-man about town-seeker-performance artist-soap star Franco is in negotiations to star in MGM’s adaptation of Neil Strauss‘s The Game, a “part memoir, part how-to guide” on how to land chicks. Not content to stay in any sort of performance box at all, Franco won’t be starring as the Strauss surrogate, but as Mystery.

You know Mystery. Even if you don’t know Mystery, you know Mystery. Mystery is better known as “The Pick-Up Artist,” the self-declared title he uses to shill his lady-getting techniques, the very same that he taught Strauss on his mystical, magical journey to be a dude in demand. Mystery even had his own VH1 reality show! Called, you guessed it, The Pick-Up Artist! Oh, also, he’s not attractive in the least and looks as if he shops almost exclusively at Spencer’s Gifts. I know that men bemoan that they don’t know what women want, but I can clearly declare, as a woman, I don’t want Mystery. But what I may want is Franco in the role, because it sounds just a little bit too funny and too perfect.

Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Ocean’s Thirteen, The Girlfriend Experience, Rounders) are writing and directing the film. The film has been bounced around Hollywood – first at Columbia with Chris Weitz to direct, then it went over to Spyglass with D.B. Weiss scripting, until it went to Lionsgate for Rawson Marshall Thurber (if you can dodge a terrible project, you can dodge a ball), before almost going to Fox Searchlight. It’s now at MGM, with Chris and Paul Weitz down to produce it, along with Paul Schiff and Andrew Miano.

For some fun Mystery action, check out his “indicators of interest” chat below. Sorry, Mystery, I am not interested.

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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