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James Franco Will Play an Ex-Gay Activist

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14:  James Franco visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on March 14, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon") James Franco.

James Franco has played plenty of gay characters onscreen, and his next project will continue that trend ... sort of. The actor will star this summer in a fact-based movie about Michael Glatze, a gay activist who leaves San Francisco, renounces his past, and comes out as an ex-gay Christian fundamentalist. "Page Six" broke the news and Vulture can add that the film, produced by Gus van Sant and directed by Justin Kelly, is based on Benoit Denizet-Lewis's buzzy 2011 New York Times article "My Ex-Gay Friend." Production will begin in July, and Franco will juggle his leading-man duties while also starring in the Broadway production of Of Mice and Men, because the boy does like to multitask.

Photo: Theo Wargo/NBC