Written and directed by Justin Kelly, the film tells the true story of a gay activist who became a straight Christian pastor.
Brainstorm Media, the Beverly Hills-based indie distributor, has acquired writer-director Justin Kelly’s I Am Michael, starring James Franco, Zachary Quinto and Emma Roberts, which it will open theatrically Jan. 27 in 10 markets along with a day-and-date VOD release.
Based on a New York Times magazine article by Benoit Denizet-Lewis, the film, which debuted at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, tells the true story of Michael Glatze, played by Franco, who was a high-profile gay youth activist who provoked controversy when he became a straight Christian pastor and claimed he was no longer gay. Quinto plays Glatze’s boyfriend, while Roberts plays the woman who becomes his girlfriend
“I Am Michael is an incredibly original film on a very important topic: identity. As we move into a new presidency where sexual orientation might once again be called into question, a film that examines this from such an unusual perspective is invaluable. I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Franco, who also collaborated with Kelly on the recently released King Cobra.
The film was executive produced by Gus Van Sant and produced by Franco and Vince Jolivette of production company Rabbit Bandini, Michael Mendelsohn of Patriot Pictures, and Scott Reed and Ron Singer of That’s Hollywood. The picture was financed by Mendelsohn’s Union Patriot Capital Management, LLC.
The deal was negotiated by Brian O’Shea of The Exchange, Michelle Shwarzstein for Brainstorm Media and Mendelsohn. DADA Films will handle theatrical booking and Required Viewing will handle PR on behalf of Brainstorm.
Logline: Coming Soon
Boxing movie “My Name Is Lenny,” which stars “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “X-Men: Apocalypse” actor Josh Helman, has started filming in London.
Principal photography on the film, which is produced by Salon Pictures and will be released in the U.K. by Lionsgate, is expected to take place over four weeks in North London neighborhoods Hoxton and Islington.
The pic is based on the true life story of bare-knuckle fighter Lenny McLean, also known as “The Guv’nor.” Helman stars as the boxer, with Chanel Cresswell, a BAFTA winner with “This Is England: 90,” as his wife, Val McLean. UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (“Twin Peaks,” “xXx: Return of Xander Cage”) plays his arch rival, Roy “Pretty Boy” Shaw.
Directed by Ron Scalpello (“Offender,” “Pressure,” “Bobby”), the screenplay is by Paul Van Carter (“Offender,” “The Guv’nor”) and Martin Askew (“Snow in Paradise,” “Rocknrolla”).
“The film chronicles Lenny McLean’s origin as a young street fighter in 1970s East End London, the haunting effects of horrific childhood abuse, and his bitter rivalry with Roy Shaw across three unlicensed boxing matches, culminating in Lenny taking the championship title of ‘The Guv’nor,’” according to a press statement.
In his later life, McLean went on to become a bestselling author, and had roles in TV and film, the best known being “Barry the Baptist” in Guy Ritchie’s debut “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” shortly before he died in 1998.
Van Carter and fellow Salon founder Nick Taussig produce, alongside Jamie McLean, son of Lenny, and Michael Mendelsohn of Patriot Pictures. Salon’s Christopher J. Reynolds executive produces. Mendelsohn’s Union Patriot Capital will fully finance the picture, and Embankment Films’ Tim Haslam and Hugo Grumbar are handling international sales.
Salon has also produced the feature documentary “The Guv’nor” about McLean, which will be released by Lionsgate on DVD from Oct. 10.
Salon recently wrapped on Jonathan Teplitzky’s “Churchill,” starring Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson.
“IT’S NOT REALLY summer without a tense action movie on the big screen, and judging by the dearth of box office successes over the past few months, viewers might be out of luck. All the American audience wanted was a big-budget action flick, something with bombs and explosions and justice—a country-defending hero striding in slow motion, stern-jawed authority figures conspiring in suits, and maybe some sharks.
Nicolas Cage has heard our call—and delivered. In USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, directed by Mario Van Peebles, America’s favorite unhinged actor brings his wild-eyed style to Captain Charles B. McVay III. In 1945, McVay’s ship was brought down by a Japanese submarine after delivering atomic bomb components to Titian Island; 900 survivors were stranded in the Pacific Ocean for five days. After 584 of the men died, McVay was court-martialed and tried by a US military tribunal. What happened with USS Indianapolis was the worst naval disaster in history, but in the first trailer for its film adaptation viewers can preview a catastrophe of a merrier sort: an enraged Nic Cage vs. the odds. And, of course, sharks.”
EXCLUSIVE: Fresh off of Fox’s Independence Day: Resurgence, Vivica A. Fox has just signed on to star in the indie feature Kinky from Chocolate City writer/director Jean Claude LaMarre. The project is described as “a racy, African American sex drama, which is being positioned as counter programming to 50 Shades Darker.” The film is currently in pre-production and will roll in Los Angeles on September 15.
The story is set in the affluent community of Buckhead, Atlanta and follows Dr. Joyce Richardson (Fox), a talented, yet introverted surgeon at Sinai Hospital, who is struggling with the fact that she is still single despite all her professional successes. Her strict Christian upbringing is a constant source of internal conflict, and limits the kind of men she dates. However, upon a chance encounter with handsome Investor Darrin Wethington, she immediately begins a whirlwind romance with the wealthy businessman and entrepreneur. It isn’t long before she begins to explore her own sexual fantasies, and convinces Darrin to join her in S&M sex. This leads them into further exploration into that world.
Kinky is being financed by Patriot Pictures with LaMarre’s Nulite Entertainment serving as co-
producers on the project. Producers include Michael Mendelsohn, Jessie LeVostre and Eurika Pratts.
Fox is repped by agent Sheila Lagette at Media Artist Group.
Logline: KINKY follows the story of Dr. Joyce Reynolds (Richard), a successful, yet shy Atlanta surgeon who enjoys a secluded and single lifestyle, before being set on a date with billionaire Darrin Bernard (Ri’chard), and the two take an immediate liking to one another. After several weeks of dating, Darin and Joyce’s world open to sexual dating exploration, leading them to S&M sex and the complicated alternative dominant submissive aspects of this lifestyle in the African American community, all in the realm of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Directed by Jean Claude Lamarre (Chocolate City 1&2), starring Robert Ri’chard (Chocolate City 1 & 2), Dawn Richard (Successful R&B artist; member of Danity Kane), Gary Dourdan (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Alien: Resurrection), Vivica A. Fox (Chocolate City 1 & 2), & Darrin Dewitt Henson (Chocolate City 1 & 2)