Jack Nicholson makes Zadan and Meron’s “‘List’
Gay mega-producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have brought us everything from singing murderesses (“Chicago”) to creepy conservatives (“The Reagans”).
Now they’re taking a look at impending death with “The Bucket List,” a new comedy from director Rob Reiner.
Written by Justin Zackham whose prior credits include a direct-to-video T&A comedy called “Going Greek” the film will star Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two terminally ill men who break out of a cancer ward to complete a list of things they want to do before they kick the bucket: gambling at Monte Carlo, racing cars, and shoveling down caviar.
With such recent stinkers as “Alex & Emma” and “Rumor Has It” behind him, let’s hope that “make another good movie” is on Reiner’s own to-do list.
K.D., Elton sing for Bennett
Crooner Tony Bennett does everything in style if you don’t count his ill-fated stab at movie stardom in the 1960s so-bad-it’s-good classic “The Oscar” so it’s no surprise that his upcoming 80th birthday will be a splashy affair.
Queer director Rob Marshall (the man behind the 2005 camp howler “Memoirs of a Geisha”) is putting together “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” a TV special that will air in the fall in conjunction with Bennett’s birthday and his similarly titled CD of duets. Musicians who will share the spotlight with the singer who left his heart in San Francisco include queer celebrities Elton John and K.D. Lang, along with Diana Krall, Michael Buble, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, and violinist Pinchas Zukerman.
Will they expect him to blow out all 80 candles by himself?
Mullally a go for “‘Passing Strange’
Finally getting to put down her martini glass after eight years of playing the hilarious Karen Walker on “Will & Grace,” Megan Mullally has decided to try her hand at producing. The bisexual actress, singer, and soon-to-be talk-show host has optioned the movie rights to Sally McLeod’s novel “Passing Strange” for her own as-yet-unnamed production company, with Martin Garner hired to write the screenplay.
“Strange” tells the story of an unattractive woman who undergoes major plastic surgery at the behest of her husband’s family. When the couple moves to the Deep South, the newly hot wife embarks on an affair with an African-American gardener that leads to dramatic consequences. Sort of sounds like “Far From Heaven” meets “The Swan.”
A Jordanian salesman who tried to pass an I.D. card bearing Brad Pitt’s picture has gone on trial in the United Arab Emirates. The 29-year-old salesman is accused of forging the card, using the Hollywood heartthrob’s picture and an Arabic name in his quest to lift more than $22,000 left unclaimed in an exchange house where his brother worked as a teller.
They don’t let ‘em out much in the U.A.E. The man told authorities he’d never heard of Brad Pitt, but he finally admitted downloading the photo from the Internet.
First “‘Clouds,’ Now “‘Sky’
One of the most gorgeously shot films of recent years was the swooning gay love story “A Thousand Clouds of Peace,” a delirious and romantic fever dream from Mexico that was honored with the prestigious Teddy Award at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival.
“Clouds” director Julian Hernandez has returned with a new film, “Broken Sky” (“El Cielo Dividido”), about two passionate Mexican gay lovers whose relationship is challenged when each encounters a new man.
If Hernandez’s sexy “Clouds” is any indication, look for the action in “Broken Sky” to get muy caliente: early reviews have noted that what the film lacks in dialogue, it more than makes up for in nudity.
Strand Releasing will distribute “Broken Sky” in the United States this fall.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, July 7, 2006.