‘The Pretenders’ Trailer: Jane Levy Gets Between Two Friends In James Franco’s New Drama

James Franco directs so many movies, many of which never get a traditional release or any release at all, that to miss one isn’t that big of a deal. But that definitely shouldn’t be the case with The Pretenders, which stars Juno Temple, Jack Kilmer, Brian Cox, Shameik Moore, Jane Levy, and Dennis Quaid. Damn. Oh, and of course Franco has a role, as well.

Last year’s TIFF is where it premiered, but there wasn’t a lot heard after that. The story centers on an actress who seduces a film student and his best friend, turning their lives upside down. As if the talent in front of the camera wasn’t enough, the script is by Josh Boone, writer of The Fault in Our Stars. Again, why is this movie flying under the radar?

One reason may be that it looks pretty cheap. I’ve given Franco more credit than most for his ambitious efforts, but they always come across like somebody’s experimental film school project. It worked for him with The Disaster Artist, but I think Franco comes back down to reality now. That and the story looks pretty on-the-nose. Let me guess, is the actress not who the two friends thought she would be?

SYNOPSIS: French New Wave obsessed film student Terry and his best friend, the smooth-talking Phil, are both seduced by mysterious actress Catherine. The longer they know each other, the more they realize they don’t truly know the real Catherine. After years of sex, betrayal, and collateral damage, the three careen into a lifestyle that leaves one of them fighting for their life.

The Pretenders opens on September 27th.