Sunday February 11 08:52 PM EST
from Yahoo Daily News
Mineo rights go to Travolta
By Chris Gardner
LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Filmmaker Joey Travolta
and Dale J. Oprandy have closed a deal for a one-year option of the feature film
and television rights to the life story of Sal Mineo,
25 years after the murder of the actor. The pact marks the first authorized for
Mineo's life story.
Travolta and Oprandy will guide the project through development
as executive producers, with Travolta set to direct a feature based on Mineo's
life. Travolta said he hopes to start lensing the project early next year, with
Oprandy's Oprandy Enterprises providing part of the financing.
Oprandy will co-write the screenplay with co-producers Dan
Goldman and Mark Basil.
The rights were secured from Mineo's estate in a deal closed by
Tom Korman, Mineo's former agent and executor of his estate.
"He was an American icon, but a lot of people still don't
know him or know of him," Travolta told The Hollywood Reporter. "I
have known his body of work for years and have always been a fan of his."
Mineo was 37 when he was murdered outside his West Hollywood
apartment Feb. 12, 1976. His killer, Lionel Ray Williams, was later convicted
and sentenced to life in prison.
Mineo's Hollywood career began during the 1950s, and he went on
to star in more than 30 films, most notably opposite James Dean in "Rebel
Without a Cause," which earned Mineo an Oscar nomination. It also was
during the making of "Rebel" that Dean and Mineo became close friends.
Mineo starred with Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint in
"Exodus," a performance that landed him a Golden Globe for supporting
actor in 1961 as well as an Oscar nomination. His other credits include
"Giant" and "Dino." (Webmaster Note: How can they leave
out Escape from the Planet of the Apes?)
"Sal was a great guy, and he deserves to have some sort of
memory -- he was a great actor and a lot of people have forgotten about
him," Korman said.
Travolta's directing credits include "Partners,"
"Enemies of Laughter" and "Dumb Luck in Vegas."