"Ex-Gays" | James Franco | Michael Glatze | Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto Signs on to Star with James Franco in Film About 'Ex-Gay' Activist Michael Glatze


Back in April we reported that James Franco was set to play Michael Glatze, founder of the (now shuttered) gay twink magazine XY and the short-lived publication Young Gay America who went "ex-gay" and became a poster boy for that movement.

QuintoNow Variety reports that Zachary Quinto and Emma Roberts have signed on to the film:

Quinto will play the former boyfriend of Franco’s character. Roberts is set to reteam with her “Palo Alto” co-star as his girlfriend. Chris Zylka (“The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Piranha 3DD”) is also attached to the film as another past love interest.

The script for “Michael” is based on “My Ex-Gay Friend,” a New York Times Magazine article by Benoit Denizet-Lewis (author of “Travels with Casey”) about Michael Glatze, a Christian minister from Wyoming who was so entrenched in gay culture before rejected his homosexuality, he founded a gay youth magazine. Justin Kelly will direct. Gus van Sant is the executive producer, along with producers James Franco, Vince Jolivette, Michael Mendelsohn, Ron Singer and Scott Reeve.

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  1. C'mon James, just tell everyone you're bi/gay. It's okay.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jul 14, 2014 7:49:38 PM

  2. Just curious, how do you make a movie about a living person without their permission?

    Posted by: Andy | Jul 14, 2014 8:23:12 PM

  3. My concern with Glatze being an ex-gay Christian Minister would be if he is "counseling" young boys

    Posted by: B | Jul 14, 2014 8:26:37 PM

  4. @Andy: In the U.S. it's not necessary to have a person's permission to make a film about them. You may have to get/buy rights to a source, but it's common to make films about the living--Social Network, The Queen, recent examples.

    Michael Glatze is one mixed-up dude. Will be interesting to see what they do with the crazy.,

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 14, 2014 8:49:03 PM

  5. He looks thrilled getting married to a woman

    Posted by: Another Steve | Jul 14, 2014 9:02:39 PM

  6. Glatze, if you take the time to talk to him, maintains that he is sexually and physically attracted to his wife, but dances around the notion of whether he is attracted to men as being irrelevant due to his being married. He's very illusive on it, but more or less insists that he is not an "ex-gay" anymore, or that he is not a person living a mock marriage, but instead is genuinely and romantically attracted to his wife now. However, on topics of LGBT equality and dignity he remains somewhat illusive in respect to those, you really have to nag at him to get him to say anything definitive.

    That aside, I think some stories are not worth telling. These people, no matter their conduct or beliefs in the present, should not be lauded and celebrated.

    They ought be forgotten till no one remembers they even existed.

    Posted by: Anon1852 | Jul 14, 2014 9:45:16 PM

  7. @Andy,
    They can base the character on him and change his name. Did a similar thing when a movie based on the Westboro Baptist Church was made.

    Posted by: Keith Murphy | Jul 14, 2014 9:54:59 PM

  8. Concur with ANON.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jul 14, 2014 9:59:02 PM

  9. Another vote for ANON1852's comment.

    I'm sure the movie will be positive with Quinto and Franco onboard; but, inevitably, it will raise Glatze's stock with the yags (anti-gays).

    Posted by: Nick | Jul 14, 2014 10:09:53 PM

  10. Promoting these people's belief systems, even if like in Glatze's case they reject it now, does no good. It is not something that can be saved or looked it in a manner that will restore it to a virtuous way of life.

    Wrong is wrong, and the vile filth that Glatze embraced and peddled is non-redemptive, no matter what face you put on it.

    Posted by: Anon1852 | Jul 14, 2014 10:37:27 PM

  11. Why bother to make a movie like this, about an ex-gay man with his propaganda. I believe that most people will not be interested in it.
    Instead, make a film about a very positive and worthwhile gay man - society really needs to see something like this.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Jul 14, 2014 11:08:51 PM

  12. Wow, Franco getting the gay part again. Sure he give 'discounted rate' for interesting part like this.

    Posted by: Moniker | Jul 14, 2014 11:18:10 PM

  13. I still have Glatze's "Young Gay America" card that he and Benji gave me when they came through on their tour across the U.S.

    I have run a LGBT youth group since 1995 and used their XY youth guide to help talk about sensitive issues like drugs and sex with the youth so I was pleased to have them.

    I did have one problem with them and confirmed it with another youth group leader from a previous stop of their's - Benji and Michael seemed to think it was okay for them to flirt and make passes at the underage boys they met. The previous leader confirmed they had slept with one of them at the previous stop. I don't know if anything went down with anyone from my group. I try to teach the youth self-esteem and self-respect so I would hope they would be strong enough to make the right decision and if not, learn from their mistake.

    Regardless, I imagine that

    Posted by: Javier | Jul 14, 2014 11:23:02 PM

  14. I'm very uncomfortable giving this barely notable twerp the attention he craves. I hope van Sant et al know what they're doing, and give him the treatment he deserves, within the bounds of defamation laws.

    Posted by: Merv | Jul 14, 2014 11:29:04 PM

  15. Regardless, I imagine that some of what those two did may have weighed on Michael's mind and his current situation may be in part, some way to assuage his guilt. I know he says publicly it was because he was afraid of an early death based on his father's medical history, but I think he was struggling way before that.

    Posted by: Javier | Jul 14, 2014 11:36:44 PM

  16. It depends on how the story goes. But I have a feeling if Van Sant, Franco, Quinto et al are on board for this film. They obviously have a reason to be compelled to tell this story. Does anybody know how the article this film is based on portrayed Mr. Glatze? In fact, is the article online?

    Posted by: MickyFlip | Jul 14, 2014 11:39:41 PM

  17. Closet Queen Franco playing Closet Queen Glatze??? Talk about type-casting.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jul 14, 2014 11:56:51 PM

  18. Agree with several posts here...why make this film? Why tout an "ex-gay"?

    Posted by: Moretruth | Jul 15, 2014 12:01:04 AM

  19. @ Mickyflip It was VERY sympathetic. Angered me then and still does now!

    Posted by: Rowan | Jul 15, 2014 12:05:45 AM

  20. I just read the article. A brilliant piece too. I highly suggest everyone read it. Anyways, if this film is actually based on the article. Then I'm looking forward to this film. It sounds like a film that will possibly delve into what triggered Glatze to renounce himself. It's sad, really. I kept getting a sense from the article that he somehow broke inside. And Glatze is the only one who knows what it is.

    Posted by: MickyFlip | Jul 15, 2014 12:07:46 AM

  21. Sooooooo over James Franco. That guys ego is big enough to feed all the starving children in Africa and then some.

    Posted by: Arkansassy | Jul 15, 2014 12:24:49 AM

  22. I have a bad feeling about this. Yes, Gus Van Sant and Quinto are gay. But Van Sant could very well try to be "defiant" and "unpredictable" by doing a positive ex-gay piece. He would not be above hurting gay people in order to boost his own standing. And Franco uses homosexual themes like a joke, so he would be on board for a pro-ex-gay film.

    Glatze identified as "queer" and it is not widely discussed that quite a few of these rabidly anti-gay "ex gays" previously identified as "radical queers." Of course, the entire ex-gay population numbers only a few hundred and almost none of them claim that they are actually straight. Only a few dozen people on Earth actually claim to have gone from gay to straight. And of those people, quite a few were previously "queer." I think this is relevant because "queer" ideology: 1) is highly judgmental and moralistic, 2) has tenets which parallel those of the anti-gay Christian Right, and 3) insists that sexual orientation is a social construct and thus changeable.

    Thus, a self-identified queer might well be more susceptible to this phenomenon than a happy self-identified gay man or lesbian.

    Posted by: Adam Rogierno | Jul 15, 2014 12:49:44 AM

  23. Why are there no KKK movie?

    Posted by: ppp | Jul 15, 2014 12:56:05 AM

  24. Javier, are you sure? Gay youth groups often include people up to their early 20s. The idea is that some areas are so isolated and it is so hard for young gay people to connect and make friends (esp. pre- internet), the group doesn't want to throw people out just because they turn 18. So often you can be a member when you are 19 up to maybe 22 or 23. So maybe they were hitting on an older person?

    Posted by: Adam Rogierno | Jul 15, 2014 12:58:26 AM

  25. I'm trying to think how best to characterize my concern with this. The point here is titillate with the liminality of modern day sexual politics and LGBT advancement - Glatze serving an a foil, an inversion, of our political progress. But once again there's a subtle double standard at work. No one would hail as potentially serious art - and none of these names signing up for - a pseudo-documentary about, say, an African American former civil rights activist who now believes that all affirmative action should be stopped, housing discrimination allowed again, and inter-racial marriage outlawed. Who says very ugly things like "Africans are closer to apes". It would just seem an utterly bizarre and rather pointless exercise in absurdist alternative-history. I'm sure these people involved think they are somehow doing the right thing, or at least an artistically justifiable thing to do, but I think they are still inadvertantly exploiting the ambiguity that mainstream America feels about homosex. (I phrase it specifically that way, because, obviously, this story would also not be as interesting to people if it were about a lesbian) There's a risk of straight people reading Glatze as "well, if I were like him, I'd change myself to"...and that being one of the attractions of the film for the general public. And of course, since he's not going to be involved it can't really be _about_ his inner life, in any authentic way. (and even if he were involved, his understanding of his motives could well be clouded by undiagnosed mental illness) His ex-boyfriend might think he knew him, but he obviously didn't. And way to point this out is to say...nobody, unfortunately, is making mainstream films about the _many, many_ FORMER ex-gay activists who now realize the utter folly of their past convictions.
    Not surprised Van Sant is involved, as he has lucratively mined this particular strain of societal discomfort and schadenfreude before.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jul 15, 2014 12:58:43 AM

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