Newly released photos from Sal, James Franco's passion project
about late gay actor Sal Mineo, indicate that the actor isn't shying
away from the homoerotic element of the tragic story.
Franco optioned the rights to writer Michael Gregg Michaud's Sal Mineo, undoubtedly the definitive biography of the '50s icon. Little information about the project has been made public so far, but the film was shot in just nine days in Los Angeles, an impossibly short amount of time for any film and unheard of for a period piece. Based on the photos and with Franco costarring as Milton Katselas, director of the play P.S. Your Cat Is Dead, the play Mineo was rehearsing at the time of his murder in 1976, it's likely the film will focus solely on the last days of the actor. Further evidence is photogenic actor Val Lauren, who stars as Mineo, sports the shaggy, curly hair Mineo wore toward the end of his life. Sal marks yet another gay-focused project for Franco, who lists acclaimed turns in Milk, Howl, and The Broken Tower on his résumé. Franco played bisexual actor James Dean, Mineo's costar in 1955's Rebel Without a Cause, in the eponymous 2001 television film. The Mineo film is expected to be released in 2013.
See photos from the shoot on the following pages.