In some of the most bizarre casting news of this or any other day (not to mention year), James Franco has been cast in “Spring Breakers”, a new independent film written and directed by controversial filmmaker Harmony Korine (“Gummo”, “Trash Humpers”). But that’s not the weird part (we expect these kinds of things from controversy-magnet Franco by now). No, see, the weird part is that freshly-scrubbed teen stars Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Emma Roberts are also in talks to appear in the film, which, if you’re familiar with Korine’s work, would mark a severe turning point for the three young actresses if their attachment becomes official.
According to Variety, which broke the story, “Breakers” centers on four college girls who rob a bank in order to afford a trip to the beach for spring break (which can only lead us to assume their school isn’t located on one of the coasts). If cast, Roberts would star as a “Southern brunette who feeds off danger”, while Gomez (assuming the Walt Disney Company actually allows this to happen) would play a religious girl who is coerced to go along with the group’s ill-considered plan. Hudgens’ role, while not specified, would fall more in line with Roberts’ thrill-seeker character.
Franco, meanwhile, will be playing a rapper/drug and arms dealer who attempts to persuade the girls to kill his rival in exchange for bailing them out of jail. Korine will both write and direct the film, which he’s planning to shoot somewhere in Florida during next year’s spring break festivities.
For the uninitiated, Korine first got his start when he wrote the script for director Larry Clark’s hugely controversial 1995 film “Kids”, which centered on a group of promiscuous young teens in New York City. Following the success of the movie, he embarked on a fiercely independent career as the writer/director of several hugely-unconventional films including “Gummo”, “Julien Donkey-Boy”, “Mister Lonely” and last year’s “Trash Humpers”, which follows a gang of elderly suburban sociopaths (played by a cast of younger actors in old-age makeup, including Korine) as they videotape each other engaging in a variety of anarchic acts.
A truly strange bit of news, though potentially a smart move for the three young starlets – particularly Gomez, who is clearly looking to expand her horizons in a major way here and has yet to make the transition into the more adult roles of the sort recently undertaken by Roberts (“It’s Kind of a Funny Story”, “Scream 4”) and Hudgens (“Sucker Punch”). This would by far be the most mainstream cast ever assembled for one of Korine’s projects.
So what does the Biebs think? And more importantly, what do you think? Sound off in the comments!