James Franco has partnered with director Travis Mathews to produce a film which recreates deleted gay sex scenes from the 1980 film Cruising.

The psychological thriller was directed by William Friedkin and stars Al Pacino as a NYPD officer working undercover in the gay leather scene to catch a serial killer.

To secure an R rating, Friedkin deleted 40 minutes of footage from the original film.

Those 40 minutes consisted of “absolutely graphic sexuality … that material showed the most graphic homosexuality with Pacino watching, and with the intimation that he may have been participating,” Friedkin is quoted as saying in the 2005 book The Erotic Thriller in Contemporary Cinema.

After failing to secure the rights to the film, Franco decided to recreate the deleted footage, which has since been lost.

James Franco's Cruising stars Franco as himself and Val Lauren (Help, True Love) “interprets” Al Pacino's character, Mathews told gay glossy The Advocate.

Mathews, who directed the gay art film I Want Your Love, which includes graphic sex, said Franco wanted “real gay sex” in Cruising.

“His people went looking for a filmmaker who had filmed real gay sex, and I suspect someone who would complement his vision. We talked about why we would be interested in still looking at this film. We talked about his interest in the film and his interest more broadly in so many gay-themed stories and visionaries. He's worked with so many in front of and behind the cameras over the years,” Mathews told IndieWire.com.

A cut of the film will premiere next month in New York during Fashion Week, with a feature-length version to premiere at festivals next year.