James Franco knows a thing or two about being a teen idol. So perhaps it's no surprise he's making a film about one.
The trailer for "Sal," the 35-year-old actor-director's low-budget biopic on the late screen star Sal Mineo, has hit the web after premiering last month at the Venice Film Festival.
Mineo shot to fame opposite James Dean in 1955's "Rebel Without a Cause," which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, as well as the adoration of millions of female fans. He went on to reteam with Dean in the following year's Giant and earned further accolades for his role in Otto Preminger's Exodus, for which he snagged a Golden Globe and another Oscar nod.
The diminutive Hollywood heartthrob also hit it big as a pop singer, but his career went into decline after his public acknowledgement in the late '60s that he was gay, making him one of the first big name actors to come out. He was murdered in a robbery in February 1976.
Franco's Sal stars journeyman actor Val Lauren as the Switchblade Kid and focuses on Mineo's last days before his tragic death. At the time, he was attempting a comeback in theater by playing a bisexual burglar in the comedy "P.S. Your Cat Is Dead."
Franco makes a brief appearance as the director of the play, Milton Katselas--or rather we see the back of his head and hear his voice, as you can tell by the teaser.
The indie flick next screens later this month at the Austin Film Festival before unspooling in limited release on Nov. 1.