Auditioned for the role of Peter Parker in Spider-Man (2002), but was given the part of Harry Osborn.
James appeared in two movies that premiered on the same day, Deuces Wild (2002) and Spider-Man (2002), both opening on May 3rd. The success of the two films was highly varied as Spider-Man film has to date amassed a box office gross some 67 times greater than that of Deuces.
He has two younger brothers, Tom Franco and Dave Franco.
His parents, Betsy Franco & Doug Franco, met at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
In his spare time he likes to paint.
Was named one of People Magazine's 50 Hottest Bachelors 
Has his own production company - Rabbit Bandini Productions.
Went by the name of Ted in high school and was voted "Best Smile" at Palo Alto High School.
Was named one of Salon.com's "10 men who might just inspire the rebirth of Jewish male cool."
Although he always hated it, he started smoking for his lead role in James Dean (2001).
James's father was of half Portuguese and half Swedish descent, with his Portuguese roots being in the Madeira islands. James's mother is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family (from Russia, Germany, Poland, and Lithuania).
Worked with stunt coordinator Nick Powell in two movies both premiering in 2006: Tristan + Isolde (2006) and Annapolis (2006).
Close friends with Tobey Maguire. He also used to "babysit" Tobey's daughter on the set of Spider-Man 3 (2007).
His grandmother, Mitzie Verne, is an artist.
Is friends with Busy Philipps, who he met on the set of Freaks and Geeks (1999).
Franco told interviewer Terry Gross that when he was in junior high school, he was arrested for shoplifting cologne from a department store and reselling it with his friends at the school. He noted to Gross the irony that, in 2008, he shot an advertising campaign in which he became the face of Gucci cologne.
While a guest on her NPR program "Fresh Air", Franco told interviewer Terry Gross that when he went back to UCLA to finish his undergraduate degree in creative writing, he was worried that his classmates and professors might think of him as "sliding by" because of his acting career, so he took a lot of extra courses to make sure they knew he was serious. He told Gross that the cap on the number of units that a student is allowed to take in a quarter was 19, but in his last quarter he took 62 units - which as far as he knows is a record for a single student.
In 2009, he reunited with his Deuces Wild (2002) co-star, Ronnie Marmo, on General Hospital (1963).
Franco's creative writing professors have included such major figures as Amy Hempel, Mona Simpson, Jonathan Lethem, Gary Shteyngart and Michael Cunningham.
Chosen by Premiere magazine as one of the "The 40 Most Handsome Hollywood Men"(#1).
Mother Betsy Franco also played his character's mother on General Hospital (1963).
He completed his private pilot's license to prepare for his role in 2006's Flyboys (2006).
Is a talented mathematician. He interned at Lockheed Martin, the American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company.
Has directed short films for two R.E.M. songs, "Blue" and "That Someone Is You" from their 2011 album, "Collapse Into Now".
Franco volunteers at the charity Art of Elysium in Los Angeles, helping kids with serious medical conditions. In January 2011, he was honoured for his work at the hospital, receiving the Spirit of Elysium accolade.
After seeing Franco's turn as James Dean, Robert De Niro personally chose him to play his drug-addicted son in the 2002 movie City by the Sea (2002).
He did eight months of boxing training for Annapolis (2006).
His production company is Rabbit Bandini Productions, which he runs with friend and producer Vince Jolivette.
In 2009, Salon.com named Franco the "Sexiest Man Living.".
May perhaps be one of the most academically accomplished actors (an "extreme scholar") in Hollywood history: besides his BFA in English from UCLA, he has two MFA degrees - both in writing - from Columbia and Brooklyn College, and a third MFA, in film, from New York University. He is continuing further degree studies while also teaching a graduate class that takes students through the process of making a feature-length film. (2011).
His favorite film is My Own Private Idaho (1991).
His debut book of poetry is due to be released in April 2014 [December 17, 2012].
Admitted to his younger brother, Dave Franco, that he hadn't seen a single episode of Dave's episodes in the TV series, Scrubs (2001).
Was presented the 2,492nd Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame accompanied by his mother Betsy Franco, brother Dave Franco, Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) director Sam Raimi and This Is the End (2013) co-star Seth Rogen (March 7, 2013).
Filming the action comedy Pineapple Express (2008). [March 2007]
Has a movie due in December called The Company (2003), co-starring Neve Campbell. He is filming Spider-Man 2 (2004). [May 2003]
New York, NY, USA: His educational achievements as a "prolific academic" are celebrated in a half-page ad in The New York Times paid for by his alma mater, UCLA, with the tagline: 'Some A-Listers Actually Get A's.' [March 2013]
Enrolled in NYU's MFA program for creative writing in Tisch school of the arts 
In the Graduate Film program at NYU and the Graduate Program for Fiction Writing at Columbia. 
On his father's side, he is the grandson of Daniel Franco, Jr. and Marjorie J. (Peterson) Franco, who was a published author of young adult books. On his mother's side, he is the grandson of Daniel Verne (born Daniel S. Verovitz) and Marjorie "Mitzie" Levine. One of James's maternal great-grandfathers, Emanuel "Manuel" V. Levine, was a prominent judge in Cleveland.
One of a handful of celebrities passing through Los Angeles International Airport (1 November 2013) when a gunman opened fire killing a TSA official. Franco was stuck on board a grounded plane during the rampage.
As of 2014, has appeared in two films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Milk (2008) and 127 Hours (2010).
Friends with Mila Kunis. They have acted in 4 films together: Third Person (2013), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), Date Night (2010), and The Color of Time (2012).
In 2015, James Franco will star in both Queen of the Desert (2015) and Every Thing Will Be Fine (2015), which are directed by Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders, who were both key figures in the New German Cinema film movement in the 1970s.
His favorite film of 2015 was Mustang (2015). [Indiewiere, Nov.19 2015].
In October 2015, James Franco had a Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony traditionally celebrated at age 13. A rabbi, of the Reform Jewish denomination, presided over the ceremony, in which Franco, wearing a traditional prayer shawl and yarmulke, read from the Torah in Hebrew. Franco was 37 at the time of his Bar Mitzvah; though they are most often celebrated at 13, a Bar Mitzvah may be observed any time after 13, as well. The Bar Mitzvah was orchestrated by Franco's friend, Seth Rogen, as a fundraiser for Rogen's Alzheimer's research charity, "Hilarity for Charity".
Originally, James was set to play the role of "Arthur" in Inception (2010); however, due to scheduling conflicts, he was forced to drop out of the film and director Christopher Nolan gave the role to Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Though they often collaborate with the same actors, producers, and directors, the first time James and brother Dave appeared in a film together was in 2017, in The Disaster Artist (2017), directed by James, and also including a cameo by third brother Tom Franco.