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It’s hard to tell what there are more of these days: movies based on Stephen King stories or movies starring James Franco. Either way, there’s about to be a new one that ticks both boxes, as the latter has signed on to appear in, and produce, an adaptation of a recent work by the former.

Drunken Fireworks is a short story that was, unusually, published in 2015 in audiobook form before getting a print release (in King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams collection). It’s a black comedy about a blue-collar mechanic and a retired mob boss who engage in an escalating war over, of all things, Fourth of July fireworks displays. Franco will play Alden McCausland, the mechanic; and as it’s his production company making the film, he may also direct, though this is as yet unconfirmed.

It won’t be Franco’s first experience of a King work, as he’s just finished starring in the TV adaptation of 11.22.63. But it’s another addition to an extremely busy time for the actor-turned-filmmaker, who later this year has The Long Home and The Masterpiece, both of which he’s written and directed as well as starring in, due for release; indeed, by the end of the year, he’ll have appeared in more than 15 movies or TV shows in 2016 alone. He’s also currently shooting post-apocalyptic thriller Future World. It’s unclear where exactly Drunken Fireworks will fit into his packed schedule, but expect to see it some time in either 2017 or 2018.

King’s novels and short stories have been a fertile source of material for movie and TV makers going all the way back to Carrie in 1976; in all, there have been more than 50 films based on or otherwise connected to his work. Already there are movies in active production based on Cell and his The Dark Tower series, as well as a remake of It, first filmed in 1990, for which it’s also just been announced that we will see Bill Skarsgård take on the role of Pennywise the clown.

If it comes to fruition, though, Drunken Fireworks should be a welcome bit of light relief in the King canon, and it’ll be interesting to see how it stretches out into a full-length movie.

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By Seb Patrick