EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 1, 2013

Local author's novel to become movie

James Franco stars in second film made from Dubus book


On this night, April has an unusual client, a young foreign man named Bassam who is free with his money, is drinking heavily and is out for a good time. Bassam also happens to be on the brink of committing a horrific act of terrorism. At the same time, a drunken and lonely AJ is thrown out of the club for improper behavior.

“Early on in the story, AJ is involved with April’s daughter, but not in a creepy way,” Dubus said.

Dubus said he gave the screenwriter his blessing to set the film in modern day New York, where filming will begin July 8.

“When the book came out in 2008, I don’t think the reading public was ready to step into the point of view of one of these terrorists,” Dubus said. “I think now that we’re more curious about what causes this kind of madness.

“I really stand by my portrait of Bassam,” Dubus said. “I think anyone who reads it will understand how these guys think and I think Hanna Weg captured that in the script as well. She captured the complexity of the young terrorist.”

Dubus said he was informed that Franco would be involved in turning his novel into a movie on a recent tragic day.

“When I found out he was going to be the director and star, it was, very sadly, the day of the Boston Marathon bombings,” Dubus said. “It was a strange synchronicity of forces. I was at the marathon that day with my daughter to watch one of my nieces and it was so crowded at the finish line that we left (before the bombs exploded).”

Dubus said he has confidence in Franco’s ability to direct the movie, saying Franco directed a screen adaptation of William Faulkner’s 1930 literary classic, “As I Lay Dying,” which will premier at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this month.

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