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James Franco May Be Batman, a Robot, or a Clone

Actor James Franco attends the after party for the Broadway opening night for
James Franco. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

How on earth does James Franco find the time to be, well, James Franco? By the time the rest of us have crawled out of bed and made a pot of coffee, he’s written a book, gotten the adaptation of said book into a film festival, made a cameo in a fun project, caused a scandal, and appeared onstage in his Broadway debut (during which he’ll shoot another movie). For those of us observing from the sidelines — and even to some of his fellow collaborators — it can seem like a daunting schedule, as Vulture discovered when we asked the cast and crew of his aforementioned Broadway debut, Of Mice and Men, to figure out exactly how he does it.

Franco’s friend and co-star Jim Parrack assured us that there is no “secret secret” for how Franco operates, other than “curiosity and passion” and lack of sleep. “It’s just, he gives a shit, and he works hard,” Parrack asserted. His co-star Chris O’Dowd, however, put forth an intriguing theory that Franco may be a clone, a superhero, or simply, “Michael Keaton, who’s been both! Right? He was Batman, and then he did that fucking movie where there’s loads of him [Multiplicity]. So that’s my theory, that he’s actually Michael Keaton. J.F. equals M.K.”

“James Franco needs no help maximizing James Franco!” laughed his director, Anna Shapiro. “He has got a team of people, he knows what he wants to do, and he knows how to make it possible to do that, and he is really impressive. In all of the jokes and silliness about it, and no one likes teasing him about it more than me, but the truth is, I think he might be a superhero. I ask him, ‘Are you a superhero?’ and he doesn’t answer, so the jury is out. But maybe you can get him to answer!”

And so we tried — and in his own way, Franco stoked the speculation. When asked if he is a clone, he replied, “I am. I am a robot.” What about O’Dowd’s superhero theory? Copped Franco, “I’m Michael Keaton. I’m actually Batman.” So there you have it.

James Franco May Be Batman, a Robot, or a Clone