Looks like that "General Hospital" stint is going to pay off after all. James Franco will draw upon his famous artist-cum-serial-killer experience this summer when he directs and stars in The Night Stalker. Based on the true-crime novel (which is not quite a great American classic) of the same name, the story follows the genesis of satanic killer Richard Ramirez.

In 1985, Ramirez went on a murder and sexual assault spree that terrorized Southern California. Once captured, he was found guilty of thirteen counts of murder, five attempted murders, eleven sexual assaults, fourteen burglaries, and pushing a nun into a pool. The film is being co-produced by Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell (umm, okay) and screenwriter Nicolas Constantine.

Constantine says of Franco's involvement, "I had no idea if he would do it, though, since it's pretty dark subject matter. They told me he was studying to be a director and this was perfect for him. We watched three short films he made, two of which were dark and one of which was about a serial killer. That confirmed James definitely had this dark side, and it definitely sealed the deal for us. Sure enough, James read the material and responded to it immediately."

Cornell then added, "Black hole sun, won't you come and wash away the rain? Black hole sun, won't you come? Won't you come?"(NY Post)