James Franco Talks Saturday Night and His Hart Crane Biopic

franco225.jpgActor/writer/director and recent NYU film grad James Franco stopped by Movieline's Sundance HQ at the Levi's Dockers House in Park City for a lengthy chat with Elvis Mitchell on the smaller passion projects that drive his inner artiste, including an update on when his SNL documentary, Saturday Night, will finally hit theaters. Get your James Franco quick fix after the jump!

Franco, in town to present his Sundance installation Three's Company: The Drama and to party hearty, gave props to 127 Hours director Danny Boyle ("He didn't get nomination for a Golden Globe? I still feel like people didn't see what he did.") and shared details on a few of his upcoming projects.

While the 32-year-old has the 127 Hours Oscar-timed re-release and two studio films (Your Highness, Rise of the Apes) to look forward to in 2011, he's branching out more and more into writing and directing and explained why. "It's the actor's conundrum or dilemma," he said. "I'm trapped in these roles. It's not actor's medium. It's a director's medium, a director's vision."

As part of his studies at NYU, Franco shot a behind-the-scenes documentary about Saturday Night Live for a school project - and after playing the festival circuit, it was picked up by Oscilloscope for distribution. Franco told Movieline that Saturday Night will finally hit theaters in limited release in late May.

Meanwhile, Francophiles can start getting excited about his next turn in the director's chair: The Broken Tower, a biopic of the poet Hart Crane which Franco also wrote and stars in. Franco explained his approach to the film, which he recently filmed, and how it'll differ from his other recent poet biopic, Howl.

"It's based on a biography by Paul Mariani," Franco explained. "Our approach is unlike Howl, which I also love, [but] they did everything they could to make that poem accessible, all these different aspects to bring the poem to the audience."

"Hart Crane purposefully wrote different poetry... so I didn't want to go against that, I wanted to go with that spirit and not make a movie that pushes people away. You're not gonna have someone explain to you what the poem means but hopefully you get a sense of his work, of who he is, from the texture of the movie."

Stay tuned for the full video interview with Franco and Movieline's own Elvis Mitchell and follow Movieline on Twitter for news, sightings, and interviews from Sundance 2011.