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James Franco to Play Title Role in OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

James Franco

Looks like James Franco is going to continue to be one very busy guy for a while. After not only co-hosting last night’s Oscar’s, he’s also got yet another new project on his hands. Deadline.com [2]reports that Franco’s reps and Disney have closed his deal to play the title role in OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL.

Franco will be reuniting with his Spider-Man director Sam Raimi in the prequel to the L. Frank Baum novel that was scripted by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire, with Joe Roth producing.

Like I said, Franco’s been one busy guy and here’s what his 2011 looks like now: First up, he’ll first star in the Noah Baumbach-directed While We’re Young, then he’ll move on to shoot Oz in the summer. Then, in late fall/winter, he’ll star in Sweet Bird of Youth, the David Cromer-directed revival of the Tennessee Williams play produced by Scott Rudin. Kidman is set to star as Alexandra Del Lago, the aging voracious movie star, while Franco will play her gigolo paramour Chance Wayne.

This marks a big step up commercially for Franco and is the biggest deal of the actor’s career so far; and a byproduct of his Oscar-nominated performance in 127 Hours, no doubt.

In between all that work, Franco will also continue working toward his PhD in creative writing at Yale, planning to attend class each day and then commute to NYC for his nightly stage turns.

Did I mention he was a busy guy?