Its being reported that Kristen Stewart is in talks to join James Franco in Hollywood-based transgender biopic JT Leroy.
Director Justin Kelly – who previously worked with Franco on 2015 movie I Am Michael – will take on the film from a script he wrote.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that as well as Stewart and Franco, Helena Bonham Carter will also appear in the movie.
The film will look at the story of JT Leroy, a writer who exploded onto the literary scene in 2000 with the novel Sarah; the story of a young boy, living a transient and deprived life, subsisting by turning truck-stop ‘tricks’ with his young mother.
The book, when released was accompanied by outlandish and arresting PR statements – the author was a ‘working boy’, who was advised to write by his psychiatrist; the manuscript was typed up by his clients, who came to him for domination.
Leroy’s media persona was reclusive and shy, although not shy enough to prevent him hob-nobbing with pop-culture icons like Winona Ryder and Carrie Fisher.
The book gained much critical praise, and Sarah was swiftly followed by The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, which was identified even more closely with Leroy’s own upbringing. This book was even made into a film, and enjoyed good sales.
Again, the author was a distant figure, glimpsed fleetingly at awards ceremonies and rarely speaking in public.
However, rumours began to spread about Leroy’s true identity – before finally and definitively surfacing in the New York Times – the books were written by a woman, Laura Albert, and the public ‘Leroy’ was performed by Savannah Koop.
The myth was imploded; the film company and her publisher both severed connections, and threatened legal action. The press, which had lionised ‘him’, immediately turned.
It is said the new biopic will be based on memoir and life rights of Koop herself. LBI Entertainment, Aquarius and Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions are producing, while Aquarius is providing equity financing.
However, it’s looking like Franco is certain to star in the movie, while Stewart and Carter are currently in negotiations. A 2016 production date has already been proposed.
Stewart was most recently on our screens in Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, which premiered at Sundance.