The Hollywood Reporter said David Strathairn, Alan Alda, Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker and Paul Rudd are also attached to the 1950s-era project, which will mark the narrative writing, producing and directing debut of documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.
The Allen Ginsberg Trust approached Epstein and Friedman to discuss making a film to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ginsberg's book-length poem "Howl."
"Fifty years later, Ginsberg's vision is as relevant as the year he wrote it," Friedman told The Hollywood Reporter. "It resonates with issues of free speech, government censorship, militaristic empire building, fear-mongering, sexual conformity and the co-opting of religion."
Franco can currently be seen in "Pineapple Express." He has also starred in the "Spider-Man" trilogy, "The Dead Girl," "Flyboys," "Annapolis" and "Sonny."