According to VarietyJames Franco has agreed to star in the movie, In Praise of Shadows written by NYU’s film school professor Jay Anania, who is also the head of the school’s Directing Program. Anania tells Variety that Franco is just another gifted student: “I was immediately struck by his inventiveness and talent,” and the fact that he brings star power and a lot of backing money needed in order to make the film are just small side notes.

James, who just finished his freshman year as a NYU film student, will also be c0-producing the film under his Rabbit Bandini Productions. The film recounts the story of one man’s “eccentric and curious journey” back to New York City after four years in exile to rescue the woman he loves from a crime syndicate. Shooting for the film begins June 15th.  The film will be made on a small budget of $10 million.

Is Franco, who is known for his breakthrough role on Freaks and Geeks and his amazing performance in the Spider-Man franchise, a good enough actor to carry this film to mainstream success? Probably not, but we’ll have to wait and see.

What do you think, is Franco the missing piece or just an accessory used to gain attention to the film?