White to saddle up for ‘Broncos’
It’s often the behind-the-scenes people who get things done.
And when it’s queer producer/ director/writer/actor Mike White ("Year of the Dog," "School of Rock," "Chuck and Buck") it’s a safe bet that the material will be distinct, out of the ordinary, and anything but safe.
After the success of "Nacho Libre," with director and co-writer Jared Hess ("Napoleon Dynamite"), White’s on board to produce Hess’ follow-up, "Gentlemen Broncos."
It’s about a teenage novelist (Michael Angarano) who has his story idea for a fantasy titled "Yeast Lords" stolen by his literary hero at a writer’s camp.
Sam Rockwell will star, as will "Flight of the Conchords" creator Jermain Clement.
And as with everything in Hollywood these days, production will begin when White finally comes off the picket line.
Lisa Kudrow, executor of ‘Will’
Like his hit indie musical "Camp," gay filmmaker Todd Graff’s latest project, "Will," is destined to have audiences singing along in their seats.
The tuneful coming-of-age story concerns a high school misfit and a popular girl bonding over their mutual obsession with music. Together they form a rock group to compete in a battle of the bands.
Set to star now-grown-up "Stepmom" kid Liam Aiken and "High School Musical" sensation Vanessa Anne Hudgens, the film will also feature Lisa Kudrow as Aiken’s mother.
Meanwhile, David Bowie is also in talks to join the cast. Look to 2009 for an eventual release, one with presumably far fewer teenagers singing Sondheim songs than were found in "Camp."
Barker brings ‘Blood’ to big screen
Clive Barker, everyone’s favorite gothic gay ghoul, is back with more tales of terror.
The film version of one of his stories with the gruesome (or pornographically suggestive) title "Midnight Meat Train" is coming soon a theater near you.
And in the works is a series of films based on Barker’s "Books of Blood" story collections.
The first film will be adapted from the initial story of book one, which centers on a paranormal investigator who, while looking for clues to a murder, finds instead the intersection of various paths that souls take in the afterlife.
The film will star Sophie Ward ("Young Sherlock Holmes") and Jonas Armstrong (the U.K. TV series "Robin Hood").
With a built-in cult fan base for the popular ’80s collections, expect a franchise to grow in this graveyard.
Brolin, Mortensen help ‘The People Speak’
A bracing antidote to the dry, bland history textbooks we all endured in high school, historian Howard Zinn’s best-selling book "A People’s History of the United States" tells the story of America from the perspective of its least privileged citizens.
Taking on war, class struggle, race, the worker’s movement, feminism and the struggle for gay rights, the book reached a surprisingly wide audience.
Now a documentary miniseries based on the book is in the works.
Titled "The People Speak," the series will feature an all-star cast of presenters, including Josh Brolin, Viggo Mortensen, Marisa Tomei, Kerry Washington, David Strathairn, Danny Glover and many others.
It’s scheduled to air in 2009, giving you plenty of time to pick up the book and read it before getting the condensed TV version.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 8, 2008