James Franco Rolls Out Beefy New Protection ... Just in Case

12/17/2014 9:15 AM PST

James Franco -- Rolls Out Beefy New Protection ... Just In Case (PHOTO)

With the Sony hackers now threatening violence -- James Franco is applying the old theory go big or go home ... when it comes to the security guard tailing him around NYC. 

Franco was leaving a restaurant in Manhattan Tuesday night with his new muscle in tow. He was in town to promote "The Interview" and attend the premiere ... which Sony ended up cancelling last night.

They say the best defense is a strong offense -- and that dude looks like he can offend, if necessary.