When the Hunger Games trilogy concluded a few weeks ago, my friends and I found ourselves debating what the rest of Josh Hutcherson’s career arc would be. I didn’t believe he’d jump into another franchise so quickly, and that instead he’d go the Elijah Wood route—choosing some key, plum roles without selling out. And O HAI JOSH, he’s found the absolutely perfect role: as Denny in The Room! Well, as actor Philip Haldiman in The Disaster Artist, Greg Sestero’s memoir about making the cult classic with Tommy Wiseau. It will not surprise you to know that James Franco is behind this madness.
We already know that Franco is playing Tommy Wiseau/Johnny, his brother Dave will be the all-American Greg/Mark, and Seth Rogen (producing the adaptation with Franco) has an as-yet-unannounced-but-surely-ridiculous role. I’m sure that these two will, as they did with the apocalyptic comedy This is the End, comb through their contact lists to bring in all manner of amazing celebrity cameos. Josh Hutcherson is no doubt the first of many big names to sign on for some fun—after all, they need to cast Lisa, Claudette, Michelle, Mark, Peter!—but God bless him for doing so.
See, Denny is such an oddball character: He’s a teenager who Johnny took in, but he actively tells his father figure how much he’s in love with Lisa. He also makes way too many innuendos about tickle fights and borrowing sugar, he squats on the floor instead of sitting on the ample furniture, and he seems to be having a nonverbal conversation with someone just off-camera in every scene. Some of Hutcherson’s best moments in the Hunger Games movies were when he was poor, hapless Peeta, so no doubt he’ll play up that slapstick kind of performance. Especially when Denny gets messed up with drugs and a bad guy named Chris-R (warning: NSFW language):
The Disaster Artist features a great scene in which the guy playing Chris-R really got into character, so needless to say I am psyched to see that play out.