Sure Shots: James Franco; Adrian Lyne; Lynn Shelton

* Never one to let the grass grow under his feet for long, James Franco is already lining up his next directing gig after his adaptation of As I Lay Dying (first look here) prepares to hit Cannes. He'll next direct and star in The Garden of Last Days, based on the best-selling novel by Andres Dubus III, who is best known for the excellent House of Sand and Fog. Penned by Hannah Weg, the film tells three interwoven stories that explore the underbelly of America. One story follows a stripper who must bring her 3-year old daughter to work; another centers on a lonely, angry man who gets thrown out of the club; and a rich foreigner on the verge of a terrifying act is the centerpiece of another tale. The book was set during 9/11 but the screen version will be set in current times. Filming begins in July. [Deadline]

* Adrian Lyne hasn't directed anything since 2002's Diane Lane-led thriller, Unfaithful, but he's about to change all of that by tackling an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel, Deep Water. We learned about the project last year when popular writer Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction) came aboard to pen the screenplay, and Mike Nichols circled the project for awhile before moving on. The story centers on a husband who allows his wife to have as many affairs as she wants, as long as she doesn't file for divorce, but things get complicated when her lovers start turning up dead. Steve Zaillian is producing, and apparently a major star is eying the lead role.

* Lynn Shelton has been on a pretty remarkable roll of late, as she seems to be dropping critically acclaimed indie hits on us regularly. It began with 2008's remarkable buddy comedy Humpday, and then last year she gave us Your Sister's Sister. That was followed up by Touchy Feely, which premiered at Sundance and will hit theaters later this year. While she's currently prepping her long-gestating comedy, Laggies, Shelton's already lining up her next project. She will direct I'm Down, an adaptation of fellow Seattle native Mishna Wolff's memoir about a white girl trying to navigate living in a poor, black neighborhood. She never quite acclimates, but then finds herself unable to fit in when she's suddenly moved to a neighborhood of rich white people. [ThePlaylist]