"127 Hours" star James Franco has optioned the film rights to Michael Gregg Michaud's just-published biography of "Rebel Without a Cause" star Sal Mineo, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Random House published "Sal Mineo: A Biography" in November, and the book details the actor's rise to fame, his conflicted sexuality and friendships with his "Rebel" co-stars James Dean and Natalie Wood, as well as his 1976 murder at the hands of a deranged pizza deliveryman.
Michaud's book includes insights from those who knew Mineo best, including his fiancee Jill Haworth, his male lover Courtney Burr and his "Rebel" co-star Dennis Hopper.
Franco optioned the property through his production company Rabbit Bandini, where he will develop the project as a potential writing-and-directing vehicle. He currently has no plans to portray Mineo, having already won a Golden Globe for playing Dean in a 2001 TV movie.
After "Rebel" made waves in 1955, Mineo became the youngest performer ever to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Franco recently optioned Stephen Elliott's memoir "The Adderall Diaries" as a potential writing-directing-starring vehicle. He also optioned D.J. Waldie's suburban memoir "Holy Land." He recently wrapped Fox's "Rise of the Apes" (a prequel to "Planet of the Apes") and is currently filming the indie drama "Maladies," which finds him playing a successful actor who retires at a young age due to what is believed to be a mental illness. Claire Danes, Catherine Keener and Alan Cumming co-star.
Franco is represented by WME and James/Levy Management.