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James Franco To Play 'Ex-Gay' Activist Michael Glatze In New Gus Van Sant Project

04/01/2014 01:15 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016
Andrew H. Walker via Getty Images

No stranger to tackling gay themes onscreen, James Franco is set to play "ex-gay" in a new movie.

Page Six reports that Franco, who can currently be seen on Broadway opposite Chris O'Dowd in "Of Mice and Men," will star in a forthcoming movie about "ex-gay" activist Michael Glatze. The movie is slated to start shooting in New York this summer and is being produced by Gus Van Sant, who previously directed Franco in 2008's "Milk."

As The New York Times reported, Glatze founded Young Gay America (or Y.G.A.) magazine and toured the country for a documentary about gay teens before he had a controversial change of heart, renounced his sexuality and became a fundamentalist Christian.

"We cannot see the truth when we’re blinded by homosexuality," Glatze wrote in a 2007 editorial for conservative news site WND. "We believe, under the influence of homosexuality, that lust is not just acceptable, but a virtue. But there is no homosexual 'desire' that is apart from lust."

Franco, 35, has played gay characters in "Milk" and "Howl," and teamed up with Travis Mathews to direct 2013's "Interior. Leather Bar.," which was deemed a "docu-fiction" exploration of queer sex and BDSM subculture.

"It’s not like it’s my mission to tell the stories of as many gay men as possible, although in some cases, I think it is the point," the Academy Award nominee told The Daily Beast last fall. "I guess that a lot of the figures that I love were gay."

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