Franco maybe helping nerds

James Franco is in negotiations to star inThe Game, MGM's adaptation of the best-selling book about picking up women.

Brian Koppelman and David Levienare writing and directing the adaptation.Part memoir, part how-to guide, The Gamedetails author Neil Strauss's effort to learn the tricks to becoming a successful pick-up artist, even moving into a Sunset Strip mansion filled with other competing players to find love.

The project was originally set up at Columbia with Chris Weitz attached to direct, then Spyglass picked it up with D.B. Weiss writing. Later, Lionsgate tried an incarnation with Rawson Marshall Thurber attached to helm. Fox Searchlight also flirted with the project. MGM, recently taken over by former Spyglass toppers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, are now moving to make the film.

Chris and Paul Weitz are attached to produce as are Paul Schiff and Andrew Miano.

Franco would star as Mystery, a man who serves as Strauss' teacher in the book. Mystery later starred in a VH1 reality series called The Pick-Up Artist

Franco, repped by CAA, James/Levy Management and Loeb & Loeb, will play himself in The Apocalypse, the directorial debut of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg which shoots this spring. He last starred in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.