That James Franco Appearance On 'General Hospital' Really IS Performance Art

Depending on your age, James Franco is either "the stoner from 'Freaks & Geeks'" or "the stoner from 'Pineapple Express.'" Or Harry Osborn I suppose, if you've seen the little-known comic book adaptation of "Spider-Man."

What you might not realize is that Franco has also dipped his toes into the world of avant-garde filmmaking. He's allied himself with one artist in particular: John Carter, who operates under the professional name Carter. The two collaborated on a 2008 film, "Erased James Franco," an hour-long piece in which Franco re-creates past performances -- his own and others, particularly Rock Hudson and Julianne Moore -- without providing any context. It seems that this Franco/Carter partnership is also what led to the actor taking his soon-to-begin guest gig on TV soap opera "General Hospital."

The revelation came from a recent interview Carter gave to Movieline. "It was an idea that I posed to him, and it’s tied to another film that he and I are working on now," the artist said of his actor friend's guest role. "It’s not specifically for another project, because I know that he’s really enjoying the challenge of working on a soap — it’s a very taxing job, and an interesting thing for him to be doing — but it does have to do with another film that he and I are working on."

Carter refused to provide any details about his next collaboration with Franco, since it's only in the "beginning stages." It sounds like he at least has a plan in place, and that the "Erased" follow-up will be a bigger effort.

"It’s basically written, and now we’re working on getting the other actors involved, which we are super, super excited about," Carter said, describing the project as a "feature film" as opposed to the video piece he previously collaborated with Franco on. Even though the scale has grown, this is still avant-garde filmmaking we're talking about; as Carter describes it, the project will be "be pretty abstract, for a larger audience."

While Carter isn't directly influencing what Franco's character will do in his "General Hospital" appearance -- the role is "something he takes seriously, and it’s not a joke," Carter said -- he is filling some sort of role on the set. He even goes as far as describing what Franco's shot already as "mind-blowing" and "unbelievable."

Head over to Movieline for the rest of the interview. Carter doesn't get too specific about either his project or Franco's role on "General Hospital," but plenty of tidbits emerge which are ripe for speculation. And of course, we'll all find out what's in store for Franco on the soap when his guest role kicks off on November 20.

Are you looking forward to seeing James Franco on "General Hospital"? What was your initial reaction when you heard he would be appearing on it?