James Franco is in talks to direct and star in a Shel Silverstein biopic.

The 39-year-old actor is said to be in discussions about stepping behind the camera and starring in the forthcoming film about the children's book author and lyricist - who died in 1999 aged 68 - based on Lisa Rogak's book 'A Boy Named Shel'.

According to Deadline, the movie is to be written by Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair.

Frano and his brother Dave Franco are expected to executive produce the project along with Vince Jolivette and Adrian Alperovich.

Mary Viola, Gigi Pritzker, Rachel Shane, Sean Sorensen and Stacy Keppler are set to co-produce the film.

Franco directs and stars in new comedy 'The Disaster Artist', but recently admitted he has only worked for two weeks this year.

He said: "I have stopped. I only worked as an actor for two weeks this whole year, in a Coen Brothers film."

The 'Spring Breakers' star has also insisted he doesn't regret taking on so many roles during his younger years.

He added: "I've been looking back on that a lot and going, 'Why was I doing that?' I was generally just doing things I was interested in.

"At some point maybe eight or 10 years ago I just flipped this switch and said, 'You know what? Maybe this is the only life I have. I don't want to follow any sort of tacit understanding of what a career looks like in this business so I'll just try a lot of things.' I tried to take them as seriously as possible. I went to school and tried to not just be a moonlighter. And I think the good of that period of just doing way too much is I got a lot of experience. I had learned early in my career, just from working so hard at acting and having that pay off, that you do have to go through a certain amount of paces. You've got to work at it."

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