James Franco
James Franco headed back for a "long-term" GH stay
Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 3:14:53 PM
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James Franco will return to General Hospital later this year in what is being called a substantial, long-term storyline. Franco, an Oscar-nominated performer, has made three previous guest-starring stints on the ABC soap.

James Franco will reprise the role of artist-slash-murderer Robert "Franco" Frank on General Hospital beginning in September. According to a published report, this time Franco -- both the actor and the character -- will be sticking around for an extended period of time.

"Franco's upcoming story arc is being called 'long-term,' meaning we'll see him well into the fall and possibly beyond," TVGuide's Michael Logan reported in breaking the news of Franco's return.

Franco raised eyebrows in October 2009 when he announced that he'd be appearing on General Hospital as part of a research project for a new film.

A daytime return isn't the only gig in Franco's future. A notorious multi-tasker, Franco will also be appearing on Broadway and in the classroom.

As previously reported, Franco will appear onstage with Nicole Kidman in a revival of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth this fall. No dates, additional casting, or theater have been announced.

In addition to his acting ventures, the actor is working to complete a Ph.D. at Yale, and will also embark upon a quest to earn his second Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston next year.

Franco has already wrapped production on what will surely be a box office blockbuster, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a prequel to the 1968 Planet of the Apes. In the film, Franco plays a scientist testing Alzheimer's cures on laboratory apes. The cures ultimately cause rapid intellectual evolution in the apes. The movie opens on August 5.

How will Franco tend to all of his proverbial irons in the fire? During his previous runs on General Hospital, Franco taped several weeks' worth of episodes in just a few days. The intensive pre-taping required Franco to show up for work on just a handful of days, yet appear on-screen for more than two months.

Franco's latest reign of terror begins on September 20.

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