(Photos: Gems/Redfern/Getty Images, Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

Fresh off wigging-and-accenting his way through the role of would-be auteur Tommy Wiseau in his The Room tribute film The Disaster Artist, James Franco is gearing up to portray another modern Renaissance man—one whose efforts to wear multiple creative hats resulted in wide-spread acclaim, rather than ironic appreciation: cartoonist, poet, and songwriter Shel Silverstein.

Deadline reports that Franco is in talks to star in and direct a biopic centered on Silverstein, whose credits range from a celebrated run as a cartoonist for Playboy, to the author of children’s classics like A Light In The Attic and The Giving Tree, to the authorship of Johnny Cash’s enduring “A Boy Named Sue.” Silverstein died in 1999; the film will be based on a book about his life, A Boy Named Shel, written by Lisa Rogak and published in 2007.

Advertisement

Franco has a busy film-making schedule ahead of him at the moment; he recently reportedly agreed to play Multiple Man for Fox’s X-Men franchise, and has a prolific slate of his own directorial projects lined up, now empowered by the generally positive reviews that have greeted his latest foray into cinematic celebrity impersonation.