Celebrity Watch

Posted on 03 Jan 2008 at 9:12pm

Bellucci catches the “’1:30 Train’



Monica Bellucci

There’s no typecasting Monica Bellucci.

The beautiful Italian actress has lent her talents to everything from the “Matrix” sequels to the hugely successful Mel Gibson film “The Passion of the Christ,” to punishing art-house fare like the French shocker “Irreversible.”

After that, a straightforward American suspense film like gay director Joel Schumacher’s “1:30 Train” should feel like a walk in the park. Or maybe not.

Bellucci will star as a woman in New York City attempting to catch the title train to Boston. When she’s robbed on her way there, however, it throws her world into chaos.

In real life, of course, the police would be called and that would be the end of it. But this will be a Joel Schumacher movie, and one thing you can count on is that the director of “Phone Booth” knows how to paint his characters into corners.

Expect the thrills to arrive sometime in 2009.

Franco and Brolin got “‘Milk’

The long road to a film version of the life and death of gay pioneer Harvey Milk has been given another vote of confidence with the addition of three new cast members.

Joining Sean Penn, who plays the title character in Gus Van Sant’s “Milk,” will be Josh Brolin (“No Country for Old Men”), James Franco (“Spider-Man 3″) and Emile Hirsch (“Into the Wild”).

Although Matt Damon was once in talks for the role of Dan White, Milk’s assassin, Brolin will play the role instead, while Hirsch is on board to portray Cleve Jones, the man who eventually founded the Names Project AIDS quilt.

Meanwhile, Franco is in negotiations for the role of Milk’s partner, Scott Smith.

The competing Milk biopic from director Bryan Singer that was rumored to have interest from Steve Carell appears to have been shelved, but Van Sant’s version is still on track to shoot this year for a scheduled 2009 release.

Cher and Chastity pitch coming-out reality show

If this one sounds familiar, it’s because it is.

Chastity Bono and her mother, Cher, had once upon a time been on track to host a series on gay cable channel Logo dealing with the coming out stories of a variety of public people.

The series never materialized, but the concept remained one apparently close to the women’s hearts.

Now they’re pitching a reality show to networks in which the two would actively assist everyday people who wish to come out to their families. The fledgling project has no official title yet (one rumored is quel surprise “Coming Out with Cher and Chas”), but it seems like the real question is which experience will shock a family more: the coming-out of a family member they all suspected was gay anyway, or having Cher walk into the room when it happens.

The “‘Evilution’ of an indie star

We like to keep tabs on the careers of mostly unsung queer character actors.

Guillermo Diaz, for example, isn’t a household name, but the gay actor has a face that attentive audiences recognize by now, having worked consistently for nearly 15 years in queer-related projects like “Stonewall” (and most famously, as Parker Posey’s rowdy straight DJ pal in “Party Girl”), as well as on TV in series like “Weeds” and “Chappelle’s Show.”
Now it appears he’ll be going zombie for the film “Evilution.”

Also starring James Duval (of Gregg Araki’s “The Doom Generation”), the sci-fi thriller concerns a microscopic alien life form that has the power to raise the dead.

When the military gets hold of the alien and uses it to resurrect dead soldiers, it turns the once-fallen recruits against each other in battle.

In other words, it’s going to be a gore-fest, and we can’t wait.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 4, 2008

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