After years of being stuck in development hell, James Franco’s new movie Zeroville has finally arrived.

Was it worth the wait? According to the critics, absolutely not. In fact, so poorly has the film been received that it’s now been dubbed the “worst film of 2019”.

As well as being panned by critics, the film also bombed at the box office, earning just $8,900 across 80 screens on its opening weekend.

Ouch. That can’t feel great for the cast and crew, who filmed the movie all the way back in 2014. Since then, the release was delayed after its original distributor, Alchemy, filed for bankruptcy in 2015.


Based on Steve Erickson’s 2007 novel of the same name, Zeroville centres on a 24-year-old architecture student and film obsessive named Vikar (Franco) with a print of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun tattooed on his head.

As he travels to Hollywood in 1969 during a transitional time in the Industry, he is swept up in the film business after being mistaken for a member of the Charles Manson Family.

As Vikar finds work in Hollywood, his fascination with a tragic screen goddess named Soledad deepens, and together they discover just how hard it is to live in the blurred boundary between reality and illusion.

Alongside Franco stars his brother, Dave, as well as Seth Rogen, Joey King, Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson.

Megan Fox Zeroville

While it had the makings of a hit, Zeroville lives up to its name, earning a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 20% from audiences and 27% from critics at the time of writing.

“Is James Franco’s starry Zeroville the worst film of 2019?” asked The Guardian, while Little White Lies called the film “unbearably smug”.

Elsewhere, Screen Daily described it as a “shapeless mess that tires its audience well before the end”, while the New York Post added: “Between Ferrell’s rants and Vikar’s robotic ‘I think it is a very good movie’ mantra, Franco seems to be aiming for comedy, but there are few laughs to be had.

Zeroville Seth Rogan

Although Franco enjoyed critical and box office acclaim with his 2017 hit The Disaster Artist, Zeroville follows a series of flops from the filmmaker, including horror flick The Vault and sci-fi drama Kin.

Zeroville is out in US cinemas now, with no official UK release date announced.

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