After being shot in 2014 and languishing in unreleased development hell since 2015, James Franco’s Zeroville will finally see the light of day this fall. Announced at CinemaCon is the fact that Franco’s no longer “lost” film has been acquired by online distribution company myCinema, with a planned release in September of 2019.
Zeroville was originally picked up by film distributor Alchemy in 2015, which proved to be a poor bit of luck—Alchemy filed for bankruptcy shortly afterward. Zeroville thus became an asset that was attached to its court proceedings, seemingly never to have a release. myCinema, on the other hand, is a much different company—a digital content provider that works directly with theater chains on a smaller scale, but will still apparently release the film in semi “wide” release.
The most notable aspect of Zeroville is the film’s admittedly stacked comedy cast, which includes Franco, Will Ferrell, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, Jacki Weaver, Danny McBride, Dave Franco and Megan Fox. It’s a story set in L.A. in 1969—exactly like Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, in fact—as a young outsider arrives in town with dreams of becoming a filmmaker. As for the official synopsis, well … it’s completely absurd.
Join VIKAR (James Franco), a wide-eyed innocent in love with the movies, on one wicked trip to the heart of a pulsating, kaleidoscopic Hollywood. Naïve newcomer to the City of Angels, carrying nothing but his “outsider” past and a huge tattoo of Montgomery Clift & Elizabeth Taylor inked on his shaved skull; driven by the allure of cinema to the glittering temptations of Zeroville; a town where anything goes. Encounter the parasites, the punks, the wannabes, the power-brokers and the crazies: meet VIKING MAN (Seth Rogen) – gatekeeper to all the right parties, a cigar-chomping surf hippie; Vikar’s eccentric Hollywood guide. You’ll encounter: foul-mouthed industry veteran DOTTY (Jacki Weaver); the sinister FINANCIER (Danny McBride); sexy femme fatale SOLEDAD (Megan Fox) – a haunted “dame”, the electric charge to trigger Vikar’s breath-taking dive into the captivating world where movies are made. Profoundly magical, funny, unsettling, and gorgeous – a love letter to Los Angeles and provocative satire of America’s fascination with itself, its cult of celebrity; a vision of the death of Old Hollywood.
Alright then. A trailer for Zeroville was quietly released last year, but seems to have now been scrubbed from YouTube—perhaps in preparation for a second trailer. But you can still see the original trailer here. Keep an eye out for more information on Zeroville as we approach its new fall release date.