US independent TLA Releasing has picked up James Franco'sfilmmaking debut The Ape and will release the title on DVD in spring 2006.

The company plans to place the surreal dark comedy in NorthAmerican festivals, and also holds broadcast and streaming rights to the storyof a frustrated writer who shares an apartment with a foul-mouthed ape.

Franco adapted the screenplay from a play he co-wrote withMerriweather Williams. TLA acquired the project from Voltage Pictures, which ishandling international sales.