James Franco has cast Val Lauren in Sal, Franco’s planned biopic of two-time Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Sal Mineo, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Based on Michael Gregg Michaud’s Sal Mineo: A Biography, Sal should begin filming in the Los Angeles area in early summer. Franco’s production company Rabbit Bandini is behind the project.
Among Lauren’s credits are supporting roles in Christian McIntire’s Landspeed (2002) and Johnny Lin’s Queen of Hearts (2009). He also had guest roles in several television series, including Hawaii Five-0 and Monk.
Sal Mineo is best known for his doe-eyed teenager infatuated with James Dean in Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause (1955), and for playing the young Jewish man who becomes a radical (he had been raped by Nazis) in Otto Preminger’s Exodus (1960). (Groucho Marx, for one, was impressed with Mineo’s performance.)
Other credits include and The Gene Krupa Story (1959) and the cult psychological drama Who Killed Teddy Bear (1965).
Sal Mineo was 37 years old when he was murdered in West Hollywood in 1976.
As per the Reporter, Lauren described Mineo as “an extraordinary and super complex guy” and “technically the first actor who came out of the closet.”
Rachel Weisz & Johnny Depp in The Thin Man remake?
Rachel Weisz, Oscar winner for The Constant Gardener, may join Rob Marshall and Johnny Depp in the Warner Bros. remake of The Thin Man.
Depp is set to play dipsomaniac detective Nick Charles; according to reports, Weisz is being considered for the role of Nick’s equally dipsomaniac partner in crime-solving, Nora Charles.
William Powell and Myrna Loy became first-rank stars after playing Nick and Nora in W.S. Van Dyke’s 1934 film adaptation – which is quite different from Dashiell Hammett’s considerably darker book. That was back in the day when MGM was a major Hollywood powerhouse.
The Thin Man earned Oscar nominations in the Best Picture, Best Actor (Powell), Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay (Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett) categories. Loy was bypassed, which outraged many at the time.
Weisz’s latest vehicles haven’t performed well at the North American box office – e.g., The Lovely Bones, The Brothers Bloom – though the Alejandro Amenábar-directed Agora was a major hit in Spain, winning 7 Goya Awards.
Among Weisz’s most notable future projects is Oz: The Great and Powerful, in which she would get to play the witch Evanora.
Tommy Lee Jones & Joseph Gordon-Levitt join ‘Lincoln’
Oscar 2013 watch: Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln has added several prestigious names to its cast. Two-time Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis (as Abraham Lincoln) and Sally Field (as Lincoln’s wife, Mary Lincoln) will be joined by Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Jones will play Republican leader and congressman Thaddeus Stevens; Gordon-Levitt will incarnate Robert Todd Lincoln, the president’s eldest son.
Also in the extensive Lincoln cast are Oscar nominee and Water for Elephants co-star Hal Holbrook, Oscar nominee John Hawkes, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill, and Joseph Cross.
Spielberg’s Lincoln is based on Pulitzer Prize-winner Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 2005 book Team of Rivals, about the political conflicts pitting the president against the men of his cabinet, some of whom were his rivals for the presidency.
The screenplay adaptation is by another Pulitzer Prize-winner, Tony Kushner, who had previously collaborated with Spielberg on the Oscar-nominated Munich. (Kushner was in the news today for something unrelated to Lincoln: the board of City University of New York blocked a decision to give an honorary degree to the playwright, after university trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld accused Kushner of being anti-Israel. In addition to refuting the accusation, Kushner has lashed out against the CUNY board.)
Filming of Lincoln should begin in late 2011/early 2012 in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia. Distributed by Disney’s Touchstone, Lincoln is expected to reach theaters in the fourth quarter of 2012. Whether this Spielberg effort will turn out to be another Schindler’s List or another Amistad is impossible to say.
It’s also unclear how well a movie about Civil War politics will fare at the box office. Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, starring Robin Wright and James McAvoy, hasn’t been doing well this spring. After three weekends, the $25 million production has taken in only $8.8 million domestically.
Later this year, two Spielberg-directed films hit theaters: War Horse, featuring Jeremy Irvine and Emily Watson, and The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, a motion-capture feature starring Jamie Bell as Tintin and Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock.