Forgive me for being so informal. My initial draft began, â€œDear Mr. Franco,â€ but after you read this, weâ€™re going to become good buddies and nothing as formal as â€œMr. Francoâ€ will do.
Youâ€™ll call me on my cell phone and Iâ€™ll be all, â€œHey Jimmyâ€ or â€œGood to hear from ya Jimsterâ€ or â€œItâ€™s my nigga, Jimâ€¦Oh, thatâ€™s inappropriate? Iâ€™m sorry. I didnâ€™t mean to offend you, man. I was trying to be ironic. Itâ€™s an, um, reference to Huck Finn, which I figured youâ€™d get because youâ€™re a writer, like me…Oh I seeâ€¦That word is not in your copy, huh?…Yeah, itâ€™s in my copy. Some 200 hundred timesâ€¦ Why would I make up something like that? Iâ€™m looking at it right now… No, I donâ€™t think he wrote two versionsâ€¦No, Mr. Franco, I canâ€™t think of any good reason why your copy says slave and mine saysâ€¦Look, I think this conversation has gotten off on the wrong foot. You want to call back and we can try this again?â€
Yeah, weâ€™ll have conversations like that, complete with literary allusions because youâ€™re a learned guy. Iâ€™m just as learned. We have the same advanced degree, Master of Fine Arts in Fiction. As a matter of fact, we have a lot in common. You write short stories. I write short stories. You act in movies. I watch movies.Â Your fiction has been published in Esquire. My fiction has been rejected repeatedly from Esquire. You hosted the Academy Awards. While you hosted the Academy Awards I was on Twitter making fun of the Academy Awards.
Itâ€™s our shared love for literature and cinema that has inspired me to write you today.Â As a big Hollywood powerhouse, Iâ€™ve noticed that youâ€™ve decided to class up the place by bringing several literary-themed projects to the big screen. You made the Howl biopic about one of my favorite poets, Allen Ginsberg and lately, youâ€™ve been optioning a whole gang of literary fiction and non-fiction including some Bukowski, a biopic on poet Hart Crane, Steve Ericksonâ€™s Zeroville and Stephen Elliotâ€™s The Adderall Diaries. Iâ€™m wondering if youâ€™re willing to take a chance on a writer not named Steve? I have an unpublished novel just sitting on my hard drive. Iâ€™m hoping youâ€™d be interested in optioning it and turning it into a big Hollywood spectacle. Iâ€™ll even settle for small independent feature or even a porno flick. You were in Spiderman 3, I trust your judgment.
Iâ€™ll be straight with you Jimmy, there are some logistical problems to making this picture. For instance, all the characters in my novel are black and Iâ€™ve noticed that youâ€™re a white guy. I know you like to act in the works you option. I assure you though, that wonâ€™t be too much of a problem. Iâ€™m totally OK with you turning any, or even all, of my characters into white people. Trust me, thatâ€™s fine. Grad school put me $50,000 in debt. Hell, if you pay me, you can perform in blackface if you want.
I know youâ€™re probably thinking, â€œWhy should I waste my time with some random internet literary fiction jackass.â€ And thatâ€™s a great question, Jimirini. Iâ€™m not only a comrade in literature, Iâ€™m also a huge fan. I still think about your magnificent turn in 127 Hours. IMDB.com says you were in Milk and I saw that and enjoyed it. Sean Penn did a hell of a job as politician Harvey Milk and memory being what it is, I kind of only remember him and guy who shot him at the end, but I liked it, loved it even, so Iâ€™m sure you had something to do with my enjoyment of that flick. And who can forget Spiderman 3?
Also, while other people on the internet made fun of your Oscar hosting, your boy Ree (You can call me, Ree, in fact I prefer it. I sign all my personal emails, Ree, but it doesnâ€™t seem to be catching on.) Â didnâ€™t crack a single joke at your expense. Check my Twitter feed. I totally got that your delivery was an homage to the wonderful Carlo Collodi childrenâ€™s novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio.
As you can see, this is a very good opportunity for you. I have no agent so itâ€™ll be a clean transaction.Â And imagine all the good press: â€œFranco Takes Chance on Unpublished Writer of â€˜Literaryâ€™ Fiction,â€ â€œFranco to Play Black Man,â€ “Franco wins NAACP Image Award” or “Franco Marries Halle Berry After Meeting Her on the Set of New ‘Rion Amilcar Scott Joint.’”
Contact me, Jim, and Iâ€™ll send you my pages. I also have an unpublished short story collection and a bunch of loose short stories lying around. You can have a look at those too.
Take your time in coming to a decision; you don’t want to be brash. But donâ€™t take too long. Iâ€™m told Ethan Hawke is also interested.