Based on author Steve Erickson’s acclaimed 2007 novel, director James Franco (The Disaster Artist) stars as Ike Jerome, a.k.a. “Vikar.” Vikar is a lost soul journeying through Hollywood in 1969, a land of myths, beauty and monsters. The studio system is in decay, and a new generation of brash filmmakers are on the rise.
With his shaved head marked by a tattoo from his favorite film, 1951’s A Place in the Sun, Vikar is a bizarre presence even amid the dreamers and players. “The image encapsulates all of his obsessions,” Franco says. “It’s his love of film, represented by the actors from one of the best films ever made.”
He finds work first building sets, then as an apprentice editor obsessed with wielding the power of moving images. As his involvement in the creative process deepens, so does his fascination with a tragic screen goddess named Soledad. Soledad Paladin is an enigmatic actress and doting mother played by Megan Fox (Jennifer’s Body, Transformers), a screen queen whose sexuality has been exploited and commercialized while her soulfulness has been too often left on the cutting room floor.
She transfixes Vikar, who finds himself guided along by two other colorful movie industry stalwarts — the nurturing veteran film editor Dotty Langer (played by Jacki Weaver, a two-time Oscar nominee for Animal Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook) and the cigar-chomping, gunslinging screenwriter known as Viking Man (brought to ferocious life by Seth Rogen). With their help, he hopes to create something timeless for Soledad. Together, Vikar and Soledad discover just how hard it is to live in the blurred boundary between reality and illusion.
ZEROVILLE also starts Danny McBride, Joey King, Craig Robinson, Horatio Sanz, Dave Franco and Will Ferrell.