Director Justin Kelly reteams with his I Am Michael star and producer James Franco for King Cobra, the story about gay porn star Brent Corrigan aka Sean Paul Lockhart, played by Garrett Clayton, who created a turf war between feuding producers but never profited from his success.
In King Cobra, Franco plays, along with Keegan Allen, rival producers The Viper Boyz, who poach Corrigan from Cobra Video producer Kocis (known here as Stephen as played by Christian Slater), who made him. Kocis had a knack for discovering “twinks” (trade slang for beautiful young guys). The Viper Boyz are hunkering to make their pic The Fast And The Curious. Kelly calls their characters “GTL gays: gym, tan and laundry.”
At Deadline’s Tribeca studio, Kelly, Franco, Slater and Clayton discuss King Cobra. The film shows again at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday at 8:30 PM and Sunday at 9:30 PM.
Here’s how Kelly and Franco met: A few years ago, Gus Van Sant wanted Franco to direct a feature version of Benoit Denizet Lewis’ magazine article “My Ex-Gay Friend,” about a gay activist and magazine founder who found God and declared his life saved. Franco passed on directing I Am Michael, opting to produce and star, with Van Sant suggesting Milk editor Kelly for the gig. Franco saw Kelly’s short feature, and was impressed by his work.
Said Franco about the types of indie films he shepherds, “We’re trying to push new ground with narratives; (taking them into) directions I haven’t seen before.” CAA is handling U.S. sales on King Cobra, with Yale Productions selling foreign.