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James Franco Howls!

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Feb 20, 2009 | 5:40am EST

James Franco's graduate studies at NYU seem to be kicking in -- he's taking a break from mainstream action films and stepping into a message movie.

Franco will play Allen Ginsberg in Howl, a film about the obscenity trial into the poet's eponymous Beat Generation work. Set to go into production on March 16 in NYC, the film will be produced by Werc Werk Works and directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.

The picture will incorporate a reimagining of Ginsberg reciting the poem through animated sequences designed by illustrator Eric Drooker under the supervision of animation director John Hays.

Click Here: Ginsberg's Poem Howl

Epstein and Friedman wrote the screenplay and will jointly direct and produce. Gus Van Sant serves as executive producer.

Epstein and Friedman's credits include The Celluloid Closet for HBO, and Paragraph 175, winner of the directing award at Sundance 2000.

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