James Franco Books "Long Term" Return to 'General Hospital'

The always busy actor has signed on to reprise his role as serial killer/performance artist "Franco" this fall

Brace yourself, General Hospital fans: James Franco is coming back to Port Charles! TV Guide reports that Franco will be be reprising his role as Robert "Franco" Frank, daytime television's favorite serial killer/performance artist. And this time, he's here to stay.

While Franco is not actually joining the cast full-time, his new GH arc is being described as "long term" -- meaning he'll stick around through the fall, and possibly longer. A rep describes the new story arc as Franco's "most twisted plan yet," and will reveal only that his latest scheme will entangle Maxie Jones (Kirsten Storms), Carly Jacks (Laura Wright) and Carly's baby Josslyn. TV Guide points out that Franco's return will coincide with the wedding of Hunky hit man (and "Franco" crush object) Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) to Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco). The artist has already bombed one wedding; doe he plan to thwart this one, too?

This new stint will mark Franco's fourth story line on GH since 2009. The character of Franco was written specifically for the Oscar-nominated actor, who has spoken highly of his experience on the show. Like his GH character, Franco is fond of creating bizarre art; in May, he carved the name of actor Brad Renfro into his arm while being videotaped, and in June, he started selling invisible sculptures and costumes on the Internet. Unlike his alter ego, the real Franco hasn't set off any bombs and doesn't have a crush on a hit man.

He does, however, have a full plate: His new sci-fi action movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes opens Aug. 5 and, in addition to his GH stint, James is set to star in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth this fall.

Franco's new General Hospital story line kicks off on September 20.

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