has signed on to portray serial killer Richard Ramirez in a new film which will also mark his major motion picture directorial debut. According to the New York Post, Franco will direct and star in "", the big screen version of Philip Carlo's book about 1980s serial killer Ramirez, who was 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, confirmed Franco's collaboration, "I had no idea if he would do it, though, since it's pretty dark subject matter. 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."