Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Whatever Happened To James Franco's 'Sal' Biopic?

James Franco’s Sal, the biopic that he conceived and directed in 2011, apparently came and went without so much as a whisper of publicity. Last fall, the movie was shown at the Venice Film Festival (with Franco in attendance) and then the Austin Film Festival and then... nothing.

We first wrote about it last July, with great anticipation for Val Lauren's starring role, with a then-targeted street date of 2013. I have no idea if there are intentions for wide release at this point.

Loosely based on Michael Gregg Michaud’s biography, the story surrounds the final day of one-time teen idol Sal Mineo’s life at the age of 37, on February 12, 1976. "He eagerly plans his future, which includes an upcoming play he rehearses for and promotes. There’s a glimpse at his relationship with his lover Courtney, and his friends. His financial struggles, his addictions and his active lifestyle. All leading up to his unfortunate, seemingly random murder and the culprit’s arrest," reports website Movie Pool.

Its review from Austin calls Sal a "slow-paced, indie piece that requires a certain artistic mindset to appreciate. While lead actor Val Lauren shines brightly in what is often a very quiet role, Franco’s directing style takes some getting used to."

The flick was shot in nine days on a shoe-string budget, but one would have hoped that Franco's personal fortune would have provided funding for the film to hit HBO or the like. So little information is available on Sal that it's eerily like the Oscar-nominated actor's own demise: simply tragic. *