James Franco's 2011 Sal Mineo Biopic Resurfaces With New Trailer (Video)

Two years after its Venice premiere, the biopic of the "Rebel Without a Cause" actor will get a VOD and theatrical debut.

James Franco is an independent film machine. The actor-writer-director's adaptation of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying premiered at Cannes and is preparing for a VOD release later in October. His follow-up, a film based on Cormac McCarthy's Child of God, debuted at this year's Toronto Film Festival. And now his biopic of Rebel Without a Cause supporting actor Sal Mineo, a film that debuted all the way back at the 2011 Venice Film Festival, is readying for release. The premiere of the film's trailer is the cherry on top a Franco frenzy.

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Sal tracks the final day in the life of Mineo, who rose to fame in the late 1950s after Oscar-nominated supporting roles in 1955's Rebel and 1960's Exodus. Nearly 20 years later, Mineo all but disappeared from the Hollywood talent pool after growing out of the teen idol mold and becoming one of the first actors to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality. His life came to an abrupt end in 1976, when he was the seemingly random victim of a stabbing.


Val Lauren stars as the troubled Mineo, with Franco co-starring as Milton Katselas, the famed director and acting coach. In a fact that can't be coincidence, Franco previously starred as James Dean in a 2001 telemovie that chronicled the making of Rebel.

Reviewing from Venice, THR praised Lauren for being “magnetic as an outgoing, chatterbox individual who’s evidently uncomfortable with solitude and silence,” while noting that Franco's cut of the film suffered from lethargic pacing. “Sal pretty much grinds to a complete halt during a 15-minute sequence in which we observe Mineo and company rehearsing the play.”

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Sal arrives on VOD and iTunes on Oct. 22 and will open in select theaters beginning Nov. 1.