James Franco is reportedly set to play serial killer Richard Ramirez.
The Golden Globe-nominated 127 Hours actor has shown interest in directing and starring in the big-screen adaptation of Philip Carlo's The Night Stalker about how Ramirez, currently on death row in California, became a murderer.
Writer Nicholas Constantine, who wrote the screenplay and is co-producing the film with Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, told New York Post: "This isn't a horror film, nor does it glorify Ramirez in any way - James Franco shares that vision, and we all agree that he is absolutely the one actor, and now director, who can truly do this very intense role and story justice."
He continued: "I had no idea if he would do it, though, since it's pretty dark subject matter. We watched three short films he made, two of which were dark and one of which was about a serial killer.
"That confirmed James definitely had this dark side, and it definitely sealed the deal for us. Sure enough, James read the material and responded to it immediately."
Ramirez went on a rampage of sexual assault and murder in southern California in 1985, and was jailed after being found guilty of 13 counts of murder, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries.