Strand Picks Up James Franco's Erotic Drama 'Interior. Leather Bar'

"Interior. Leather Bar"

Franco and Travis Mathews' film is based on the rumored 40 minutes of gay S&M footage edited out of the original cut of the 1980 thriller "Cruising."

Strand Releasing has acquired James Franco and Travis Mathews' erotic drama Interior. Leather Bar from The Film Sales Company.

The film, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival, is inspired by the rumored 40 minutes of gay S&M footage that was edited out of William Friedkin's 1980 thriller Cruising.

Strand is planning a late 2013/early 2014 release.

The deal was negotiated with Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans for Strand Releasing and Jason Ishikawa and Andrew Herwitz for The Film Sales Company on behalf of the producers.

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Friedkin's 1980 film sent Al Pacino undercover into the gay S&M subculture to hunt a serial killer. Franco and Mathews' film is an imaginary version of what the 40 minutes of unseen footage could have looked like. The film has a mix of gay and straight actors, with Franco's straight friend Val Lauren playing the Pacino character. Franco and Mathews also appear in the film.

At Sundance, THR's film critic John DeFore wrote of the film: "Offering a lower nutjob-entertainment factor than Franco's recent festival exploit Francophrenia, but more credible as an artistic statement, the film isn't as provocative as some may expect, which will probably suit the actor's fans just fine."

"I am so excited and pleased that this unusual film has found the perfect home. We are so proud of this and happy to be working with Strand Releasing" said Franco. Travis Mathews added that, "Strand has a long history of pioneering queer art films that challenge the norms of the day; we really couldn't ask for a better fit for our film."