Thursday, October 1, 2009

Film Star James Franco Joins GENERAL HOSPITAL

Golden Globe winner James Franco is joining the cast of GENERAL HOSPITAL for a short run. Jillian Michaels tweeted about it on Monday which immediately made soap fans think they were being Muhney'd again but it looks like this one is true. Steve Burton confirmed on his own Twitter account last night. When asked if Franco is joining and Vanessa Marcil is returning to GH, Burton responded: "Franco is..dont know about Vanessa."

ABC Soaps in Depth has added more information on their website: "We hear that Franco will work a few days a week on the GH set, taping several shows a day. A source says that Franco 'wants to do everything' and would take on his GH role as research for an upcoming film project."

Franco will play a mystery person who comes to the soap opera's town of Port Charles. The recurring role will begin Nov. 20 — to coincide with November sweeps — and will last about two months. Executive producer Jill Farren Phelps says it's "an honor that an actor of Franco's caliber would choose to spend some of his valuable time in Port Charles."

From TV Guide Magazine: Franco, whose character will be "very mysterious and Jason Morgan’s worst nightmare," is scheduled to tape several episodes in three days—October 30, November 6 and November 13—and they will air over the course of two months. “He loves to explore the different types of acting that are available and had never done soaps and was really interested in the amount of work soap actors do—he wanted to try it out,’ says a network rep, noting that Franco contacted GH directly. “Basically, the attitude from the writers and producer is, ‘When you pick up the phone and it’s James Franco saying he wants to work with you, the only answer you have is, ‘Yes!’” Adds the rep with a laugh: “There’s an open invitation to any other A-List movie stars who want to come to GENERAL HOSPITAL.”


  1. I hope he's prepared for how grueling working on a soap can be, especially these days with no rehearsal and all those pages of dialogue to memorize.

    Good luck to him!

  2. That couldn't have been cheap.
    Nice to see daytime stream lining it's budgets and all.

  3. Jaw dropping. Not a hoax?

    If true, (a) Franco must have gotten a mega Disney deal, (b) ABC will promote the heck out of this, (c) if Franco doesn't budge the ratings, GH will be cancelled within weeks or months after that.

    This is last gasp.

    I remember how Elizabeth Taylor once helped spike the ratings. But that was when a (controversial) visionary was re-inventing the show.

    If the Franco stunt does not come with visionary leadership, I fear it will fail.

    Also, while his fanbase is the right age, Franco doesn't have the star power of Elizabeth Taylor. Is anyone going to say "ooh, I've got to rush to watch James Franco on GH"? I don't see how this is going to budge a single number.

    Am I too cynical?

  4. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I mean, he IS a good enough actor but daytime ain't film. Hope he's ready to work his butt off.

    Having said that, please don't tell me he'll be another mobster? I can't take any more of those!!!! Of course GH needs a mobster overhaul (or maybe have them disappear for a bit) but what do I know? I've only been watching 15 years! ;)

  5. Update from SID: We hear that Franco will work a few days at week on the GH set, taping several shows a day. A source says that Franco “wants to do everything” and would take on his GH role as research for an upcoming film project.

  6. I don't know how I feel about that comment, that he's doing this as research for an upcoming project.

  7. If a big movie star came to any of the daytime soaps and said they wanted a role, would any of them turn them down? No way. Probably even a D-List star. But Marc, I think I get your concern. It's great publicity and may produce great drama, but as longtime soap fans we like to feel the writers have a real long-range plan and when this stuff comes up it makes it feel all sort of random.

  8. I'll try not to judge until he airs, but I agree with Keira. If he's just going to play another mobster, I'm not interested and probably won't watch.

  9. I find this news very interesting, but it only makes sense if he's doing it as research for an upcoming film project. And I'm curious to know what this film project is.

  10. I'm a former GH fan who now only tunes in when I hear about a stunt on the show that seems worth seeing. I watched the carnival and the karaoke wedding reception (even though I can't stand Spinelli) and I'm likely to tune in to see Jonathan Jackson and James Franco. Who know if I'll stay. This show seems driven by focus groups and actor preferences rather than any long range narrative plans.

    Is there a Tootsie remake in the offing?

  11. I thought it was BS but it seems true. In all honesty, I don't know what to think. I really like James Franco and I admire him for wanting to try everything (including soaps that are usually looked down on)

    Where do GH get their money from?

  12. The "research" angle clarifies everything, IMO.

    Okay. Well, let's see how this works.

    Why do I think it is going to subject us all to more ridicule?

  13. Mark, it's a HUGE opportunity for GH to get some old fans to sample the show again and new fans to check it out. If the writing can be up to par and actually draw in those viewers, it will do so much for the show and maybe other soaps. But if if the writing isn't up to par, some potential fans will definitely dismiss daytime soaps from their minds maybe permanently. I would love to see this be a big success.

  14. Well it hit Perez Hilton, Just Jared and DListed so I'm sure GH will get a nice boost from this to bad its not OLTL and to bad that Days has two former actresses coming back and wont get this kind of publicity since there "just" soap stars.

  15. My disbelief is now over and excitement has stepped in. Excuse me for going all fangurl for a moment: WOOOO!!!!!!!!!
    James franco and daytime? 2 of my favorite things together.

    I applaud him for doing it. At least he doesn't look down on it like so many other A-list actors

  16. MarkH is an idiot. General Hospital is ABC's highest rated Soap Opera. It will NOT be cancelled any time soon. Regardless of the star power that James Franco brings to the canvas, with the return of Jonathan Jackson, it seems that things are looking up in Port Charles. I will definitely be watching!!

  17. I'm anticipating him being gobsmacked at how hard soap work is by comparison to film and primetime TV.

    But how fun for the GH actors!

  18. I am glad to see that GH is always experimenting, BUT can they please use some of the Franco $$$ and bring the core of GH back?...Genie Frances.
    I would love to see some family stories, real stories. Now that I have tuned in building up to Franco, I am enjoying LUCKY,NICK,LIZ story. MORE PLEASE!
    It's just odd having Luke get involved. That is more of Laura's role. Luke is out of character.

    The show would be more interesting on a daily basis with more real stories, instead of us tuning in ONLY FOR A STUNT! This is what this is. I will tune in now then out after Franco is gone. Get a clue GH/ABC!!!