The motion picture is based on the article "My Ex-Gay Friend," which was penned by Benoit Denizet-Lewis for The New York Times Magazine.
Justin Kelly, who wrote the script, will also direct. Filming is expected to begin this summer.
Franco, according to Deadline, will play Michael, "a gay activist who, after enduring years of taunts and struggle, becomes an anti-gay Christian pastor."
Producers include Franco, Vince Jolivette, Scott Reed, Ron Singer and Joel Michaely. Gus Van Sant is the executive producer.
Franco is an actor, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher and author. He began his career on the cult television program "Freaks and Geeks" and received a Golden Globe Award for playing the title character in the TV biographical film “James Dean.” Notable film credits include "Oz the Great and Powerful," "Spring Breakers," Harry Osborn in the "Spider-Man" trilogy, "Milk" and "127 Hours," for which he received Academy Award, SAG and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor.