James Franco has found another, non-Franco actor to play the lead in his forthcoming, Franco-directed Sal Mineo biopic, bringing a swift end to our daydream of dueling Francos, a Franco divided against itself, the Foucalt’s Franco mirroring the Earth’s ceaseless revolution around James Franco. Instead he’s cast the somewhat-unknown Val Lauren as Mineo, whose early, Oscar-nominated success was soon complicated by his coming out of the closet, and whose life came to a tragically short end after he was murdered during a botched robbery.
Lauren actually seems like something of a kindred spirit to Franco: While his biggest role to date is in the indie film Dallas 362, he also received some attention for writing, directing, producing, and starring in the short film Help, which he’s currently developing into a feature, so he and Franco should have a grand old time together talking about how lazy and predictable other actors are. And while Franco’s Golden Globe win for playing James Dean in a 2001 TV movie had some believing he might use this project to reprise the role, the official report is now that he won’t appear in it at all. Fortunately, we think there will be at least a few other opportunities to see James Franco in something. Franco.