James Franco talks a lot about artistic integrity and vision. But there are at least a few people who are publicly calling BS on the actor: The producers he slammed for making a sequel to Spring Breakers without his consent.
Let’s rewind: Earlier this month, production company Wild Bunch announced it was working with Muse Productions, which was behind the first film, on Spring Breakers: The Second Coming. “It’s not a direct sequel, although there are allusions to some of the characters in the original,” said Wild Bunch co-chief Vincent Maraval. The follow-up, written by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) and set to be directed by Jonas Akerlund (Spun, Small Apartments), will chronicle a new group of partyers battling an extreme militant Christian sect attempting to convert them.
On Wednesday, Franco – who starred as wannabe thug Alien in the first film – slammed the idea of a sequel on Instagram, saying it was being done without the blessing of him or Spring Breakers writer/director Harmony Korine.
“The original was wholly Harmony’s creation and these producers are capitalizing on that innovative film to make money on a weak sequel,” Franco wrote. “I want everyone to know that whoever is involved in the sequel is jumping on board a poison ship. It will be a terrible film, with a horrible reason d’être: to make money off someone else’s creativity.”
Franco added: “I’m speaking up for Harmony and his original vision and for any creative person who cares about preserving artistic integrity.”
And now the Spring Breakers 2 producers are firing back.
“Franco is a sequel junkie in his own reality, embracing the too big to fail studio system that is his meal ticket to dilettante artistic side shows, while he glibly attacks real independent filmmakers dedicated to independent points of view,” Chris Hanley told Variety. He said the next Spring Breakers film will make the first one look like “some Disney girls trying to get a new lease on life.”
Jordan Gertner of Hero Entertainment also served as a producer on the original film, and has a hand in the sequel as well. He told Variety that Muse and Hero “have all rights to all prequels, sequels, remakes,” and animation spin-offs of Spring Breakers. “We had a great relationship with Harmony Korine and now we’re exploring a new incarnation of Spring Breakers,” Gertner added.
Looks like it’s your move, Franco.