Celebrity Watch

Posted on 03 May 2007 at 8:03pm

Christine Vachon to enter “‘The Bell Jar’



Christine Vachon

Woody Allen once described Sylvia Plath as an “interesting poetess whose tragic suicide was misinterpreted as romantic by the college-girl mentality.”
Now the next generation of undergraduates will be introduced to Plath with a new movie version of “The Bell Jar,” produced by lesbian mogul Christine Vachon (“Boys Don’t Cry”, “Far From Heaven”). Previously brought to the screen in 1979,

Plath’s autobiographical novel tells the story of a young writer’s mental breakdown, set against the backdrop of the stultifying 1950s, from the Rosenberg executions to handsy college boys. Julia Stiles (whose Plum Pictures will co-produce with Vachon’s Killer Films) will star in this new version, which should gloom its way into theaters in 2008. Playwright Tristine Skyler will adapt the book, but a director has not yet been attached.

Schumacher to direct urban supernatural drama

Gay director Joel Schumacher’s “The Number 23″ may have disappointed at the box office this year, but that’s not stopping him from setting his sights for another supernatural thriller. Of course, while his new project, “Inland Saints,” is being described as an urban drama with supernatural elements, it also has an air about it of the star-crossed lovers in “West Side Story.” Written by Kurt Sutter (“The Shield”), the movie will tell the story of two teenagers who fall in love the boy’s the leader of a dangerous street gang, while the girl is the daughter of the police detective who’s been assigned to bring down that very same gang. No word yet as to who will star in the film, currently slated to open in 2009.

Washington to do public service announcement for GLAAD

Isaiah Washington, who came under fire after using an anti-gay slur, will appear in a public service announcement on behalf of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

“We’re gonna have I want to say at least two versions of it at this point. We may broaden our message a little,” the actor’s publicist, Howard Bragman, told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday.

Washington ran into trouble at the Golden Globe Awards in January after he used an anti-gay slur during a backstage press conference while denying he’d used it previously against “Grey’s Anatomy” castmate T.R. Knight.

People magazine reported last October that Washington had allegedly used the slur during an on-set dustup with co-star Patrick Dempsey.

Knight said soon after the incident that he was gay.

After being criticized by GLAAD, a gay and lesbian advocacy group, and the ABC network, Washington issued an apology and sought counseling.

Bragman said ABC, which is owned by The Walt Disney Co., was planning to shoot the ad in the next few weeks.

A call to ABC seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Chad Allen signs on for Duchovny’s gay senior romance film

We’ve reported on David Duchovny’s plan to make a gay romantic comedy set in a home for senior citizens, but now the “X Files” actor who will always be the cross-dressing FBI agent from “Twin Peaks” has some help. Chad Allen has signed on to help develop the project. Allen recently noted that finding the leads for the film has been difficult, but not because the characters are gay. Rather, it’s been harder to find actors willing to acknowledge that they’re old enough to play retirees. Once Duchovny and Allen find their sexy seniors, the project should quickly go into production. Allen’s participation in front of the camera is still up in the air, but in the meantime, he’s appearing next in the “ex-gay” love story, “Save Me,” opposite Robert Gant and Judith Light.

Rex Lee to star in romantic comedy “‘Shades of Ray’

Thanks to his hilarious role as assistant to Jeremy Piven’s blowhard Hollywood agent on “Entourage,” Rex Lee joins the all-too-small ranks of openly gay Asian actors on TV. And lucky for both Lee and his fans, his HBO exposure is opening the doors to other gigs. Lee will soon be seen in writer-director Jaffar Mahmood’s romantic comedy “Shades of Ray,” slated to hit theaters before the end of the year. In a recent interview, Lee put a very fine point on the nature of his role, noting that he plays “the main co-worker of the main love interest of the main sidekick to the main male protagonist.”

Kathy Baker and Sarah Shahi (who played Carmen on “The L Word”) co-star.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 4, 2007

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