James Franco to Play Riff Raff in Harmony Korine Movie

March 27, 2012

Update, 8/29/2012: Watch a clip from Spring Breakers, featuring a dark monologue by Selena Gomez, above. The film, scored by Skrillex, is set to premiere in September at the Venice Film Festival. Riff Raff probably won't make an appearance in the movie, but he did get to play basketball with Korine this summer.

Update, 5/1/2012: Franco says his Spring Breakers character is not based on Riff Raff, and that Harmony Korine never offered Riff Raff a role in the film. He tells GQ:

None of that's true. I'll tell you why he could have never been offered the role. Harmony (Korine, the movie's writer and director) and I were talking about doing a movie together before Spring Breakers was even conceived. I had been a fan of his work and he wanted to do something and I said, "I'll do anything with you." We started discussing ideas and one day he sent me a treatment, which he said he's never done before, just to run it by me…And then he wrote the script. So there's no chance Riff Raff could have been offered the role.

Franco says he and Korine did watch Riff Raff videos "as inspiration" while filming, but that a "local Florida rapper named Dangerous," was the primary influence on the character. Franco also denies claims that Riff Raff sent him clothes to wear on set: "No, never. But if he still wants to send me clothes, he can."


Riff Raff says James Franco will play him in Harmony Korine’s upcoming film, Spring Breakers. Justin Bieber's girlfriend Selena Gomez, former Disney star Vanessa Hudgens, ABC Family actress Ashley Benson and Harmony's wife Rachel Korine will star in the movie, about college girls who get bailed out of jail by Franco, a rapping drug and arms dealer.

This morning, Gomez tweeted a photo from the shoot, taking place in Florida. Franco is dressed like Riff Raff in the shot, and when Fuse asked the MTV reality star turned absurdist rapper why, he said:

If I explained the story to u then u wouldn't even believe me. Harmony Korine called my phone to be in this new movie Spring Breakers. I was out of the country.

Riff Raff claims Korine asked him to be in the movie, alongside Gucci Mane, but scheduling didn't work out. "The role I would have played would be like a drug dealer, or the friend of a drug dealer, Gucci Mane," he claims. "James Franco was in the movie, but I was supposed to be in there also. Now James Franco is playing me." While sad to miss out, Riff Raff says he sent Franco "a few" items from his wardrobe for inspiration, and that he's happy with Korine's casting.

I feel really kind of privileged because I got this big actor playing the role of me but at the same time, like, damn, I wish I was there... Even though I couldn't be a part of this project, I'm still glad that James Franco could play the role of me. That's like if Denzel Washington was playing the role of O.J. Simpson. Even though it's not O.J. Simpson, O.J. Simpson still gotta be like, Denzel Washington is playing me.

James Franco to Play Riff Raff in Harmony Korine Movie