James Franco’s Killer New Role

James Franco has generated a lot of buzz from his performance in 127 Hours as a guy who cut his own arm off. Now he’ll be playing a man who gained infamy for hacking others up.

The New York Post reports that Franco will play notorious serial killer Richard Ramirez (also known as the Night Stalker), who was found guilty of 13 counts of murder as well as five attempted murders following a 1980s killing spree in Southern California.

Franco will also direct the movie, which will be titled The Night Stalker and is based on Philip Carlo’s book of the same name. The movie will chronicle Ramirez’s path to becoming a serial killer.

According to co-producer Nicolas Constantine, who also wrote the movie’s screenplay,

“This isn’t a horror film, nor does it glorify Ramirez in any way. James Franco shares that vision, and we all agree that he is absolutely the one actor, and now director, who can truly do this very intense role and story justice.”

Costantine adds that he became convinced that Franco could handle the role—and the directorial duties—after seeing several of the actor’s short films:

“I had no idea if he would do it, though, since it’s pretty dark subject matter. They told me he was studying to be a director and this was perfect for him. We watched three short films he made, two of which were dark and one of which was about a serial killer. That confirmed James definitely had this dark side, and it definitely sealed the deal for us. Sure enough, James read the material and responded to it immediately.”

What do you think? Will Franco make a convincing serial killer? Let us know in the comments section—after watching a jailhouse interview with Ramirez below:

Tags: James Franco