Franco and "Spring Breakers 2" producers have been engaged in a public war of words since the sequel was first announced, with both sides slinging pretty harsh zingers at the other. Franco's beef lies with producers' choice to move forward with a follow-up without the involvement of director Harmony Korine, who Franco said was the creative visionary behind the 2012 first film. He released the following rant on Instagram:
But producer Chris Hanley hit back at the actor, telling Variety that Franco doesn't really have a leg to stand on when it comes to integrity of film sequels.
STATEMENT ABOUT SPRING BREAKERS 2: This is not being done with Harmony Korine or my consent. The original was wholly Harmony's creation and these producers are capitalizing on that innovative film to make money on a weak sequel. I want everyone to know that whoever is involved in the sequel is jumping on board a poison ship. It will be a terrible film, with a horrible reason d'être: to make money off someone else's creativity. Can you imagine someone making the sequel to 'Taxi Driver' without Scorcese and DeNiro's consents? Insanity! I'm speaking up for Harmony and his original vision and for any creative person who cares about preserving artistic integrity.
"Let's see if I can remember all of the sequels James has done," Hanley told the trade. "'The Great and Mighty Oz,' 'Spider-Man,' 'Planet of the Apes.' ... And he's pushing hard to help set up the 'Pineapple Express' sequel. I guess he thinks only 'too big to fail studio films' are the artistically valid ventures."
Hanley and his business partner, Roberta Hanley, also told Variety that their production company, Muse, has the rights to the project and can legally do what they see fit. They added that "Spring Breakers: The Second Coming" was "a new incarnation" of the film.
The Hanleys are currently promoting the sequel at Cannes. It doesn't have a release date yet.
[via Instagram, Variety, h/t First Showing]