Celebrity Watch

Posted on 01 Oct 2007 at 6:27pm

Fox to break off women’s prison



Dominic Purcell (left), Wentworth Miller (right)

Nothing says “lesbian exploitation” like a fictional women’s prison, which has a long history in film and television one both wildly entertaining and somewhat repellent to queer audiences used to seeing menacing butch women descend vampire-like on innocent young inmates over and over.

So it’ll be interesting to watch how the jailbird action plays out on the female-oriented spin-off of “Prison Break,” for now called wait for it “Prison Break: Cherry Hill” (yes, really).

This doesn’t necessarily mean that all will be lost in a haze of offensive lunacy, but this is Fox, a network not historically known for its sensitivity to, well, anyone.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Cherry Hill” will center on Molly, a new character to be introduced on the original “Prison Break” later this season.

Like Michael (Wentworth Miller), Molly has recently lossed loved ones at the hands of the Company, and she seeks out Michael and brother Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) in Panama in her quest to exact vengeance, according to The Reporter. After going to prison, Molly learns that some of her family members may still be alive, and she begins her plan to escape.

Stay tuned to find out if this flipside of “L-Word” chic proves ground-breaking or lurid or both.

It’s Julia Stiles’ and Scott Speedman’s turn to “‘Cry’

Voyeurism can quickly turn into trouble, as the characters in the late lesbian author Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Cry of the Owl” find out pretty quickly.

The story of a man accidentally pulled into a series of murders as an innocent bystander after some not-so-innocent moments as a Peeping Tom, the novel will see a film adaptation go before the cameras soon.

Starring Julia Stiles (“Bourne Ultimatum”) and Scott Speedman (“Underworld”), the thriller will also feature Stiles’ Brit “Bourne” co-star Paddy Considine. A successful earlier adaptation of Highsmith’s work, “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” bodes well for the project, based on the dark strength of the material alone.

Audiences will have the chance to peek at the finished product minus the messy potential consequences of that sort of thing sometime in 2009.

Zooey Deschanel says “‘Yes’ to Jim Carrey

Gay director Peyton Reed’s latest project, the comedy “Yes Man” starring Jim Carrey, tells the story of what happens when a man simply stops saying “no” and allows life to lead him down whatever path an affirmative response to any proposal or question takes him.

And that intriguing premise just got a little cooler now that funny, interesting Zooey Deschanel has been cast as the female lead.

Deschanel was the star of indie oddities (“All the Real Girls”) and big hits in which she was the much-funnier-than-the-star sidekick (“Failure to Launch.”

Deschanel will no doubt bring her own brand of charm to the feature.

Say what you will about the bizarre sexism that allows for Hollywood’s aging leading men to star opposite a neverending stream of much-younger female actors at least someone who deserves a bigger career got the gig this time.

Elton, Beyonce, Blige, Underwood to sing for the holidays

Because few people in this world don’t want to sing along with the songs from “Flashdance” or “The Sound of Music,” here’s one from the “Why Didn’t They Think of This Before” department: a concert featuring popular songs from hit films, sung by some of the music industry’s heavy-hitters.

The holiday season special, taping at Hollywood’s Kodak Theater (home of the Academy Awards and “American Idol”) for an airdate in December on CBS, will feature the seemingly everywhere-at-once Elton John alongside A-listers like Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and country superstar Carrie Underwood.

But who’ll sing what?

For real entertainment, here’s hoping that they play against type and give “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” to Underwood and the theme from “Smokey and the Bandit” to Elton.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 2, 2007

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