James Franco Is a Gay Porn Mogul — Of Course — in Trailer for ‘King Cobra’

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One of the most discussed of James Franco’s upcoming roles (and I say “most discussed” because Franco does so many things that there’s no time to — and often little interest in —discussing them all) is his part as twins immersed in the New York porn industry and mafia in the ’70s and ’80s in the upcoming David Simon-created HBO series The Deuce. But before anyone sees that, it turns out we’ll all get the chance to see Franco as yet another pornographer, in the upcoming film, King Cobra whose first trailer was just shared on Vulture. (Adding another notch to the endless belt of Franco’s gay cultural fixation — “I like to think that I’m gay in my art and straight in my life.”)

The film, which is based on the true story of the murder of porn producer Bryan Kocis, has a pretty interesting cast, in that apart from Franco, it also stars Christian Slater (as Franco’s rival, Kocis himself), and a couple of other faces you haven’t seen for a while: Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald. It also stars Disney Channel’s Teen Beach Movie‘s Garrett Clayton as Sean Paul Lockhart (aka Brent Corrigan), the based-on-a-real-person young — like, illegally — porn actor James Franco’s character will, per Variety‘s review, “literally kill” to work with.

The film is written and directed by Justin Kelly (unfortunately, no relation to From Justin to Kelly), who likewise directed Franco in the 2015 film, I Am Michael, wherein he played a gay activist who renounced his gayness to become a conservative pastor.

Christian Slater’s character’s name is Stephen (though he’s clearly based on Kocis), while Franco plays Joe, a man based on one of the two men who was charged with murdering Kocis in the famous 2007 murder case. (Pretty Little Liars’ Keegan Allen plays the other.) The film premiered at TIFF, where, beyond the aforementioned Variety review, it was mostly well received, with the Guardian‘s Nigel M. Smith praising Franco’s performance, saying he’s at his “brazen best” here, and Ed Gibbs at Little White Lies calling the film a “darkly comic factual drama [that] hits all the right notes.”

Watch the (NSFW) trailer:

The film will be released on October 21.