EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

May 1, 2013

Local author's novel to become movie

James Franco stars in second film made from Dubus book

(Continued)

“Being chosen for the Cannes is a huge vote of confidence in his abilities as a director,” Dubus said.

Franco most recently starred on the silver screen as the title character in “Oz the Great and Powerful,” with Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis.

Dubus said the title of his novel, “The Garden of Last Days” has a biblical/Koran reference, and also refers to one of the main characters.

“April’s landlord, a widow named Jean, has a really lush garden at her home,” Dubus said.

Dubus anticipates visiting the movie set, but doesn’t see himself in the role of consultant.

“My involvement will be minimal at best,” he said. “It might be fun doing a cameo, but I’m not going to insinuate myself ... I don’t want to impose.”

Dubus said that during production of the 2003 movie “House of Sand and Fog,” an adaption of his 1999 New York Times bestseller, he learned what the traditional role is of the novelist and “what they need me for and what they don’t need me for.’’

“I learned in ‘House of Sand and Fog’ that some of the actors were distracted with me being around,” Dubus said. “They were nervous thinking I’d be looking over their shoulders to perform the characters as I created them. I’m more sensitive to that this time around.

“‘House of Sand and Fog’ is a real dark narrative,” Dubus said. “This (‘The Garden of Last Days’) is a more hopeful story and very timely one that might appeal to a wide audience. And it has a great ending. One that is even more affirming than the one in my book. I think it’s very honest and important, given the times we live in.”

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