James Franco: 'The Night Stalker' Star And Director

James Franco has signed on to play the Night Stalker serial killer Richard Ramirez -- and direct the film in his major motion picture directorial debut.

The NY Post confirmed that Franco will helm and star in 'The Night Stalker,' the film version of Philip Carlo's book about the mid-80's serial killer, Richard Ramirez. A prolific rapist-murderer, when finally caught and put to trial in 1989, Ramirez was found guilty of 13 counts of murder, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries.

Nicholas Constantine, who co-wrote the adapted screenplay, talked to the Post about Franco's participation.

"I had no idea if he would do it, though, since it's pretty dark subject matter," he confessed. "They told me he was studying to be a director and this was perfect for him. We watched three short films he made, two of which were dark and one of which was about a serial killer. That confirmed James definitely had this dark side, and it definitely sealed the deal for us. Sure enough, James read the material and responded to it immediately."

Franco, ever-busy, had agreed already to direct two other films: adaptations of Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying,' and Cormac McCarthy's 'Blood Meridian.'

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