James Franco has picked up the feature film rights to Steve Erickson's 2007 novel Zeroville and is developing the project under his Rabbit Bandini Prods. banner with an eye to direct the film. There are no plans for the actor to star in the project.

The darkly comic story follows Ike "Vikar" Jerome, a 24-year-old student who arrives in Hollywood in 1969 with dreams of breaking into the movie business, which is in the midst of a seismic shift as the decline of studios leads to the rise of independent directors. Jerome, who has tattoos of A Place in the Sun stars Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor on his head, becomes a successful film editor and embarks on a Hollywood journey that ends in both tragedy and discovery.

Characters in the book include Robert De Niro, Brian De Palma, Ryan O'Neal, John Milius, Margot Kidder, Ali MacGraw, Paul Schrader and the ghost of Clift.

Production is set for early 2012.