Shel Silverstein left an indelible mark on the world of children's poetry. And now, almost 20 years after his death, the life and work of the Jewish poet will be brought to the silver screen. Fresh off his critically-acclaimed film The Disaster Artist, which opens this week, James Franco is set to both direct and star in a biopic about the prolific artist. According to Deadline, which first reported the news, the film will be based on the Lisa Rogak book A Boy Named Shel. Silverstein, born to a Jewish family in Chicago, was a poet, author, songwriter, playwright, cartoonist and musician. His most famous, enduring works include Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Light in the Attic and The Giving Tree. Franco, 39, who is also Jewish, has led an equally eclectic though very different career. Amid his prolific acting jobs, Franco has directed and produced a series of films, written short stories, recorded music and taught classes. The film, produced by MWM Studios, is slated to be written by Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair.