James Franco, Kristen Stewart, and Helena Bonham Carter are circling Justin Kelly’s JT LEROY biopic. Based on the memoir and life rights of Savannah Kroop, the film tells the true story behind the hoax of JT LeRoy, a woman who pretended to be a man that identified as transgender, tricking the rich and famous in Hollywood, the fashion world, and elite literary circles. Kelly will direct from a script he wrote. Franco is attached while Stewart and Carter are still in negotiations.
LBI Entertainment, Aquarius, and Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions are producing, and Aquarius is equity financing. CAA is repping domestic rights while Fortitude International will introduce the project to foreign buyers at Berlin.
Writer-director Kelly is reuniting with Franco, who starred in his I Am Michael. The biopic was based on New York Times Magazine article My Ex-Gay Friend about Michael Glatze, a gay activist who renounced homosexuality after he became a Christian pastor.
Oscar-nominated Franco can next be seen in the Hulu miniseries 11.22.63 as a high school teacher that travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The busy mult-hyphenate just signed on to helm stripper road trip saga Zola Tells All, and his upcoming features include The Disaster Artist about the making of Tommy Wiseau’s cult film The Room and The Long Home starring Josh Hartnett, Josh Hutcherson, and Ashton Kutcher. Franco stars in and directs both films.
Twilight star Stewart has followed up the YA franchise with critically-praised roles in Clouds of Sils Maria and Still Alice. Her latest feature, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, premiered at Sundance this January. Stewarts upcoming projects Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Woody Allen’s next feature, and Personal Shopper from Sils Maria helmer Olivier Assayas.
Carter has jumped between big budget franchises like the Harry Potter films and critically-acclaimed dramas like The King’s Speech, for which she earned her second Academy Award nomination. She most recently starred in Sufragette and Disney’s live-action Cinderella, and she next reprises her role as the Red Queen in Alice Through The Looking Glass.
Katia Juanita | Staff Writer