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Arts and Entertainment

Photos: James Franco Handpainted This Mural For His New Movie, Of Course

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You might have spotted a graffiti-style mural on Melrose Avenue: Sure enough, it's actually an ad for the upcoming James Franco comedy This Is The End.

Earlier this month, the actor-writer-director-host-poet-metapersonality helped paint the mural to advertise his new apocalyptic comedy. The event took place without any fanfare in advance of the film's June 12 release, but now the studio is releasing a behind-the-scenes video showing Franco and friends at work. (The MPAA's "R" at the bottom of the mural kind of gives it away as an ad. That and the spot across from Fairfax High is often used for promotional purposes.)

The actors in the film—Franco, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson and Jonah Hill—are rendered in cartoonish ways that hint at their possible demise in the film. (It is about the end of the world.) The mural, near Melrose and Fairfax, is signed by Franco and photographer Anna Kooris (identified on Tumblr as his assistant).

Henry, 18, a student at Fairfax High, told LAist today he'd never noticed the mural amidst all the others on the street, even though he walks past it every day. "Is that the funny one with the aliens?" he asked of the movie. "I saw the trailer. Yeah, looks good."

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"That's not my type of movie," said 62-year-old Alan. He walks his dog, Bo, past the spot on a daily basis. "Just about every week, it's an advertisement for running shoes or a movie [here]. It's for young people. Slapstick type comedy. I kind of outgrew that."

Mark, 37, who works nearby, said he noticed the mural right away, and that the big "Written by Seth Rogen" tipped it off that it was an ad. Since he's a fan of Superbad and Pineapple Express, he's planning on seeing the movie.

Ryan, 32, who produces stand-up comedy records, says he "doesn't really go see comedies." Although he's "got nothing against James Franco," he told LAist he's not a fan of the mural for two reasons: "It's corny there's an ad here. Usually it's an art piece, but they've done ads before. And it looks like a sketch of a painting before you actually paint. I kept waiting for them to finish it. It looks unfinished, right?"

None of the passersby, even those who recognized it as an ad, had noticed Franco's signature on his handiwork.

Franco painted the same mural on a street in Brooklyn with Kooris and Nina Ljeti.

Related: Art or Advertising? Proposed Mural Ordinance Tries to Sort It Out