James Franco and Evil Meth Magnate Role

James Franco has joined the cast of Sylvester Stallone's thriller "Homefront" as an evil drug lord.

Best known for his role on the television "Freaks and Geeks" and his portrayal of James Dean, the Stallone-penned film is a departure from Franco's usual projects.

The 34-year-old actor will be starring opposite Jason Statham in the new action thriller, according to Variety.

"Homefront" follows an ex-DEA agent Phil Broker, played by Statham, who moves his family into a new smaller town in order to start anew. When the supposedly quiet town turns out to be actually drug-ridden, Broker is forced to confront an "evil drug magnate" named Gator (Franco).

The Gary Fleder-directed film is based on the "Homefront" series by Chuck Logan.

Executive producer of "Homefront" Avi Lerner commented on the exciting casting news, according to Variety.

"I cannot think of a better group to put this film on the big screen," he said. "[Sylvester Stallone's] script is fantastic, James and Jason are remarkable actors and Gary really knows how to direct this type of film."

"We start production at the end of September in New Orleans," added Lerner.

Fleder was at the helm of past films "Runaway" and "Kiss the Girls," while Stallone and Statham will both appear in the upcoming film "The Expendables 2."

Franco has been nominated for several awards over the course of his acting career, which has seen both dramatic and comedic work.

A known history buff, Franco has appeared in biopics as well as filmed based on true stories. He earned a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Dean in 2001's "James Dean," and his role in "127 Hours" about real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston earned him several high profile nominations.

In addition to his acting career, Franco is a novelist, installation artist, and a star on many popular soap operas.