by: Madison Barnes
James Franco will star in MICHAEL, a film about a gay man taunted so much he becomes an anti-gay Christian pastor. The film will be executive produced by Gus Van Sant, and directed by his protege, Justin Kelly.
The story is based on an article that appeared in The New York Times Magazine called “My Ex-Gay Friend” by Benoit Denizet-Lewis. It’s an interesting take on gay culture, as most gay films are about self-empowerment. This one happens to highlight one of the darker sides of the struggle for personal acceptance, as the main character becomes the very thing he hates.
Newcomer Justin Kelly wrote the script and will be directing what appears to be his first big feature film. I’m sure Van Sant and Franco will be looking over his shoulder, as both are familiar with this territory and subject matter, having worked on “Milk” together back in 2008.