Directed by James Franco, who also portrays Wiseau in the film, The Disaster Artist chronicles the making of the notoriously bad 2003 movie based on Greg Sestero’s book of the same name.
First released in a small number of California theaters and famously promoted for five straight years on a single, prominent billboard in Hollywood, The Room ostensibly told the story of a love triangle that develops between a banker named Johnny (played by Wiseau), his fiancee Lisa (Juliette Danielle), and his best friend, Mark (Sestero). Filled with bizarre subplots that are never resolved, impressively awkward dialogue, and frequent technical and narrative problems that make the average student film look like like an Oscar contender, The Room achieved a sort of cult status over the years as a movie so bad it demands to be seen.
Over the years, the film’s notoriety has led to countless sold-out screenings with audiences that chime in at certain points with famous lines of dialogue (i.e., “Oh, hi, Mark!”) or toss footballs around the theater, much in the same way audiences do for screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In 2013, Sestero published his nonfiction book about the troubled production of the film and his relationship with Wiseau, who wrote, directed, produced, and starred in The Room. The book only increased interest in both the film and Wiseau, who remains an enigmatic figure to this day.
Along with James Franco as Wiseau, The Disaster Artist also features Dave Franco as Sestero, with an impressive supporting cast that includes Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Zac Efron, Alison Brie, Hannibal Buress, Melanie Griffith, Sharon Stone, and Jacki Weaver. The film had its world premiere at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival and received a warm response from the audience.
The Disaster Artist is expected to get a limited release in theaters beginning March 12, followed by a wider release that kicks off December 8.