The American Film Market kicks off tomorrow and there are a number of high profile projects foreign film distributors could go after like Michael Winterbottom’s latest, The Emperor’s New Clothes, J.C. Chandor’s Deepwater Horizon and The Hateful Eight from Quentin Tarantino. However, right in the middle of all those big names is a first timer, Justin Kelly. He’s Gus Van Sant’s protégé and has completed three short films, but Michael starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto will mark his feature directorial debut.
With AFM due to kick off tomorrow, the very first Michael image has surfaced. Hit the jump to check it out and to get some additional information on the project.
The film tells the true story of Michael Glatze (Franco), a gay activist who denounces his homosexuality and becomes an anti-gay pastor. Quinto plays his ex-boyfriend. Emma Roberts and Chris Zylka are also involved. Zylka is portraying another one of Michael’s past love interests while Roberts will step in as his girlfriend. Here’s what Kelly had to say about the project from back when Quinto signed on:
“This isn’t just a story about an ‘ex-gay.’ It’s actually a very relatable story about the power of belief and the desire to belong.”
The script was penned by Kelly and Stacey Miller, and is based on the New York Times Magazine article “My Ex-Gay Friend” by Benoit Denizet-Lewis. Franco, Vince Jolivette, Michael Mendelsohn, Ron Singer and Scott Reed are all producing with van Sant serving as executive producer.
According to THR, Michael is currently in production.