James Franco Finds Beautiful People

A biopic of playboy Jay Sebring

James Franco, Jay Sebring

The already ridiculously prolific James Franco has yet another project on the go. As he arrives for the Sundance Film Festival promoting not one but three projects he’s involved in either as co-director, producer or actor, he’s now announced that he’ll direct and star in Beautiful People, a biopic of famous and tragic hairstylist-turned-playboy Jay Sebring.

Sebring – who changed his name from Thomas John Kummer after serving in the US Navy during the Korean War – arrived in Los Angeles and began to make waves (pun not intended) with his hairstyling talents.

Soon he was entertaining celebrity clients and had become the groomer of choice for several high profile people, including Warren Beatty (who partly based his character in Shampoo on Sebring) and Steve McQueen. He worked on Spartacus at Kirk Douglas’ request and created Jim Morrison’s signature style.

A minor celebrity in his own right, he was also known for romancing Sharon Tate – and for staying close to her when she began seeing Roman Polanski. But his relationship with them ended on a dark turn when Sebring fell victim to Charles Manson’s followers in 1969, and he died in the same incident as Tate.

Given that Franco bears a passing resemblance to Sebring, it’s not hard to see why he’d pick up the project, which was written by Lauren Wild. It’s also a compelling story for a biopic.

Franco will next be seen in Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great And Powerful and, as today’s trailer release proves, Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. Sundance-wise, he's behind BDSM doc Kink, co-directing job Interior. Leather Bar and has a small role in Lovelace.