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Gotham Gossipist: James Franco Backs Out Of Broadway Debut

James Franco arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California.  (credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

James Franco arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. (credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

By Kimberly Rae Miller

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It looks like Franco-philes – as in James Franco – will have to wait a wee bit longer to see their man on the Great White Way.  James Franco was slated to make his Broadway debut in a revival of Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth.

Sadly, the overextended actor backed out, according to Broadway.com. Now Nicole Kidman will be left to carry the show’s celebrity burden all by her lonesome.

Kidman will star as an over-the-hill actress trying to keep her celebrity star alive, while Franco was to play a smooth talking gigolo who uses the actress for his own personal agenda.  Looks like someone else will have to manipulate Nicole.

With increasingly lackluster box office sales, many Broadway producers rely heavily on A-lister casting to fill theater seats, with two names like Franco and Kidman on board, Sweet Bird of Youth would most likely have drawn large crowds.

Kidman is a Broadway vet, having made her first appearance in 1998′s The Blue Room.

Franco is currently busy getting a degree at Yale, all while filming a regular role on ‘General Hospital’ and in production for the film remake of ‘Oz.’  I guess adding a Broadway run to his already busy schedule seemed like a bad idea?

Perhaps sticking to the big and small screens is the way to go; we all saw the Academy Awards this year. Let’s just say it wasn’t Franco’s best performance.

Kimberly Rae Miller is a writer, actress, and host living in New York City (kimberlyraemiller.com).