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."