James Franco Casts Val Lauren As Sal Mineo In Forthcoming Biopic

by Kevin Jagernauth
May 11, 2011 1:46 AM
4 Comments
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James Franco Will Direct, But Won't Be Starring In The Film



Bookies could make serious money laying odds on which of the many James Franco-associated projects will go in front of cameras first. It always seems to be a bit of a surprise, and today's news is definitely a bit out of left field.

THR reports that the Sal Mineo biopic that first landed Franco's attention late last year, is now moving forward. The actor/director/awards show host/soap opera star/student has cast the little known Val Lauren ("Dallas 362") in the titular lead role of "Sal." Based on the book “Sal Mineo: A Biography,” by artist and photographer Michael Gregg Michaud, the film will chronicle the young screen actor's life whose death was as tragic as his good friend James Dean's. Like Dean, Mineo was a sensational heartthrob who battled against being typecast in repeated roles as a “troubled teenager.” His life came to an end when he was murdered in the alley behind his home in a tragic story of wrong place/wrong time.

Franco wrote the screenplay and will direct as well, but won't play any roles in the film. So all hopes that he might reprise his role as James Dean, from that television movie so long ago, are dashed against the rocks.

The film will shoot this summer, presumably before Franco gets going on "Oz The Great And Powerful."

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More: Films, Actors, Biopic, James Franco, Val Lauren, Sal

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4 Comments

  • m | June 13, 2011 10:41 AMReply

    yeAH, maybe they werent fantastic but id like to see ian put something together as good . you only get better by doing.
    he seems more than a little bitter.

    " He took a few university courses?" No. The guy is like a machine. hes constantly studying.

    This movie should be great. val is amazing. Im really looking forward to it.

  • m | June 13, 2011 10:40 AMReply

    yeAH, maybe they werent fantastic but id like to see ian put something together as good . you only get better by doing.
    he seems more than a little bitter.

    " He took a few university courses?" No. The guy is like a machine. hes constantly studying.

    This movie should be great. val is amazing. Im really looking forward to it.

  • Sal Mineo Story About Time | May 11, 2011 7:31 AMReply

    It's awesome to see James Franco grow since Freaks and Geeks. I've seem some of his directorial efforts and I think in general pretty good effort. His actually won some awards too.

    The fact that he applies himself to be the best by going to University shows he's taking a serious interest in ensuring the best work is achieved and everyone has different tastes to what's good or bad.

    Remember, even the best actors or directors in the business have made a few bad movies, so I'm looking forward to this important story coming to life on screen. At least James Franco is using his initative to try, why wasn't this story told before?????

    James Franco will end up being a great actor and director he's taking the right steps.

  • Ian Ungstad | May 11, 2011 4:50 AMReply

    Why does everyone want James Franco to direct for them all of a sudden? Haven't these people seen any of his previous directorial efforts? I've seen a few and they were poor to middling and didn't show all that much promise. Just because he took a few University courses since his last film doesn't make him some kind of savant.

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