Jonah Hill and James Franco to Star in An Unbelievable ‘True Story’

Fresh off their night of acting nominations for Moneyball, Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt are already planning on working together on another project. Not so much as co-stars though, this time around, Pitt will just be producing while Hill sidles up next to James Franco for the on-camera work. The project, which will be directed by Rupert Goold, is an adaptation of New York Times reporter Michael Finkel’s memoir “True Story.”

Finkel’s story is a true life tale almost too strange to believe. It starts in 2002, when a man named Christian Longo, who was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list for the murders of his entire family, was captured in Mexico. What does this have to do with Michael Finkel, you ask? Well, it turns out that the entire time Longo was on the run, he was posing as Michael Finkel of the New York Times. And, to make matters more complicated, after his capture the only journalist he was willing to talk to about his arrest was…the real Michael Finkel from the New York Times.

That’s not it as far as complications in this story go either. It turns out the Times couldn’t just send Finkel out for an interview, because before this whole crazy tale got started they had just fired the writer for falsifying parts of an investigative article. Regardless, the two liars ended up getting together for a bunch of phone calls, letter writings, and jailhouse visits, and eventually it all snowballed into a crusade by Longo to prove his innocence. Whether or not that happens would be telling too much, but True Story promises that, by its end, it will reveal all of the details about what really happened to Longo’s family.

Hill will be playing the reporter, Finkel, and Franco the accused murder, Longo, which sounds more heavy to me than I would imagine a collaboration between these two guys should. I don’t know why that is, though, because they’ve done plenty of dramatic material on their own, so it shouldn’t be weird that they would work on serious stuff together. Hopefully they knock this one out of the park and shatter all of the preconceived notions I have about them. Or, if not, we should all make sure to shame them back to playing stupid stoners. [Deadline Sunnyvale]

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