The fascinating New York Times article “My Ex-Gay Friend” by Benoit Denizet-Lewis is being turned into a movie, with James Franco playing the gay-leader-turned-Christian-pastor Michael Glatze, and if Franco’s involvement in the project, titled Michael, wasn’t exciting enough, now we’ve learned that actors Zachary Quinto and Emma Roberts have also signed on for supporting roles.
Michael centers on the unusual life of Glatze, a Christian minister from Wyoming who actually founded a gay youth magazine before eventually rejecting his own homosexuality and becoming vocally opposed to gay rights. Quinto will play Glatze’s former boyfriend, while Roberts (who recently starred with Franco in the excellent Palo Alto) will be playing his girlfriend. Chris Zylka, currently starring on HBO’s The Leftovers, is on board as another past love interest of Glatze’s.
Justin Kelly, a protege of Milk director Gus Van Sant (who is serving as the executive-producer on Michael), will be directing from a script he adapted from Denizet-Lewis’ article. About the intentions of the film, he recently said:
“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.”
“I’m excited that everyone involved in this project is intent on telling a story that captures the full breadth of Michael’s unusual life, from the inspiring gay leader I knew when I was young to the Christian pastor he is today.”
There have been a number of great films about gay rights and lifestyles over the past few years, from Van Sant’s Milk to excellent docs How to Survive a Plague and Outrage, so it’s interesting to see a film that will take a different tack to the subject.
Michael is set to roll cameras this summer, for release sometime next year.