James Franco, Pick-Up Artist?

His next big project could be playing Mystery, a pick-up artist turned reality TV star. Sure, why not

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As the movie adaptation of Neil Strauss’s best-selling investigative book/how-to-guide on picking up women, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-up Artists, is being tossed around studios, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that James Franco is currently in talks to star.

According to THR, Franco would play Mystery, aka Erik von Markovik, the renowned pick-up artist who made a name for himself by coaching other men on how to successfully hit on women. In the early aughts, journalist Strauss spent four months embedded within the subculture obsessed with seduction, in an attempt to try and learn their secrets. The whole experience was published in book-format and is now in the process of being adapted for the big screen.

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The project has reportedly changed hands a few times already but according to THR, Brian Koppelman and David Levien are slated to write and direct the film for MGM. All of which undoubtedly means that having Franco as the star will likely boost the film’s chances at the box office. Let’s face it, while the notion of pick-up artists had its moment back in 2005 through 2007, the concept’s time to shine has passed. So Franco could certainly lend the project a bit more credibility.

That is, if anyone finds him believable in the role. While it’s not exactly surprising that the ubiquitous actor’s been pegged to appear in the movie — he’s indefatigable these days so he crops up in all sorts of unlikely places. Yale, for instance. We have to admit that we’re going to have trouble believing that a man with a face like Franco’s would need any sort of tricks to pick-up women. With dimples like that? We don’t think so.

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