• THR: Berlin: Kristen Stewart, James Franco, Helena Bonham Carter to Star in 'JT Leroy' (Exclusive)
Fortitude will launch the project to foreign buyers at Berlin's European Film Market; Justin Kelly is writing and directing.
Kristen Stewart, James Franco and Helena Bonham Carter are circling the biopic JT Leroy, a Hollywood-set transgender story.
Justin Kelly, who directed James Franco in 2015's I Am Michael, will helm the film from a script he wrote. The true story goes behind the scenes of the hoax of JT LeRoy, a woman who pretended to be a man who identifies as transgender, tricking the rich and famous in Hollywood, the fashion world and elite literary circles.
The biopic will be based on memoir and life rights of Savannah Kroop, who was behind the complicated ruse. LBI Entertainment, Aquarius and Rabbit Bandini Productions are producing with Aquarius providing equity financing.
Franco is attached while Stewart and Carter are currently in negotiations. Fortitude International will launch the project to foreign buyers at Berlin's European Film Market, with a 2016 production start date planned. CAA is repping domestic rights.
• Indiewire: There are few celebrity stories as fascinating as JT Leroy's. The author behind the beloved "non-fiction" bestseller “The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things” (which was turned into a 2004 film by Asia Argento) earned the kind of status the writer's don't often receive, rubbing shoulders with folks like Marilyn Manson, Shirley Manson, Courtney Love, and Billy Corgan. But all of that changed when, in 2006, JT Leroy was revealed to be the creation of Laura Albert, who furthered the duplicity by having Savannah Knoop play LeRoy in public. And now, that wild story is coming to the big screen.
• Wikipedia: Jeremiah "Terminator" LeRoy is a literary persona created by American writer Laura Albert. The name was used from 1996 on for publication in magazines such as Nerve and Shout NY. After his first novel Sarah was published, "LeRoy" started making public appearances. In a January 2006 article in The New York Times, LeRoy's agent, manager, movie producer, as well as several journalists, declared that the person acting as LeRoy in public was Savannah Knoop.
LeRoy was supposedly born October 31, 1980 in West Virginia. His backstory was one of prostitution, drug addiction, and vagrancy in California, prior to the publication of his first novel in 1999. However, an exposé in October 2005 revealed that JT LeRoy was Laura Albert.
I've got more info: HBC would play hoaxer Laura Albert, Kristen Stewart is circling Savannah Knoop (who posed as JT) https://t.co/zF3ZxhTtCO— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) February 9, 2016
Knoop also co-wrote the script with writer-director Justin Kelly. And Franco is playing HBC's husband.— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) February 9, 2016
Here's the fun part: The film's central romance is between KStew's character and the actress Asia Argento. But who will they cast as Asia?— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) February 9, 2016
In real life, Asia Argento had an affair with JT Leroy... though really, she was sleeping with Savannah posing as JT. It was complicated!— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) February 9, 2016
Here's Laura Albert (the real JT LeRoy), JT LeRoy (the fake one, aka Savannah Knoop) & Geoffrey Knoop (Savannah's half-brother & Laura's boyfriend) :
WOW. I've just read a few articles about Laura Albert aka JT LeRoy and what an amazing story it is!
Kristen will apparently play Savannah aka the fake JT LeRoy! We never got Kristen as Butterfly (K-11), hope we'll get her as JT LeRoy. Looks insane. :)
And just saying but, is James Franco following Kristen in all her projects? Haha!
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