Imagine James Franco’s marble-carved face, carved up with a butcher knife as he crawls toward you, shirt soaked with blood, every movement dragging another limp breath from his rapidly collapsing chest cavity. It’s super hot, isn’t it? Now, your Franco death fantasy won’t just be a thing of your fever dreams: He’s signed up to play Jay Sebring, one of the first Manson Family victims, in an upcoming biopic he also plans to direct. Titled Beautiful People, it’ll presumably bring audiences up to date on the life of Sebring, a celebrity hairstylist in the ’60s who achieved permanent notoriety when he was murdered alongside former girlfriend Sharon Tate in Tate’s Los Angeles home.
That’s all very well and interesting, and Sebring absolutely led the type of life worthy of being dramatized by a Hollywood star, if we acknowledge that being killed by one of the most infamous psychopaths of the 2oth century renders one more than just a historical footnote. But I’m more interested in all the ways they’ll test Sebring’s final end, when he’s confronted by a pack of Manson acolytes. Will Franco die a dramatic death, punctuated by a lot of choked sobs and grandiose gesticulations? Will it be a leaden, drama-less death, where he just falls over after getting stabbed and lays in his own mess until the cops arrive? Can we see a few storyboards of proposed Franco death scenarios? Maybe a nice portfolio of death faces, where Franco tests a slate of facial expressions to see which one is the best to deliver him into? It would be horrible if the real James Franco died, but come on, this is great pretending! Anyone?