Brainstorm Media has picked up distribution rights to writer-director Justin Kelly’s I Am Michael starring James Franco, Zachary Quinto, and Emma Roberts, and will released the indie in U.S. theaters and on digital January 27. The pic premiered at Sundance last year and is produced by Franco and Vince Jolivette of Rabbit Bandini, Michael Mendelsohn of Patriot Pictures, and Scott Reed and Ron Singer of That’s Hollywood and exec produced by Gus Van Sant.
Based on Benoit Denizet-Lewis’ New York Times article My Ex-Gay Friend, the film tells the true-life story of Michael Glatze (Franco), a high profile queer youth activist who created national controversy when denounced his gay lifestyle and became a straight Christian pastor. It follows Michael from his life in San Francisco with his boyfriend Bennett (Quinto), to his days of personal self-discovery and religious reawakening. He lands at a Christian Bible school in rural Wyoming where he meets his girlfriend, Rebekah (Roberts), and becomes the pastor of his own church.
The picture is financed by Mendelsohn’s Union Patriot Capital Management, LLC.
The deal was negotiated between Brian O’Shea of The Exchange, Michelle Shwarzstein for Brainstorm Media, and Mendelsohn.