Laverne Cox gets weird with Jordan Peele
We realize it’s only February, but suddenly we’re dreaming of a Christmas where the comedy with the current working title Happiest Season will bring visions of sugarplummy Sapphic romance to multiplexes across this lesbian-starved land. TriStar picked up the rights to the holiday-themed project from the writing team of Clea DuVall (who will also direct) and Mary Holland. Kristen Stewart has signed on to star and Mackenzie Davis (Tully) is in negotiations to co-star. The story involves a young woman planning to propose to her girlfriend at her family’s annual holiday party, only to discover that her partner has not yet come out to her conservative family. We detect a bit of Birdcage-ian farce in this premise, and we’re fine with that. One problem: now we’ve got “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year” in our head.
Sia’s making Music
This one will have you swinging from the chandelier: acclaimed recording artist Sia is going to take off her wig to direct a movie, currently titled Music. We admit it’s a somewhat generic sounding name for a film, but that’s where the basic stuff ends. Popular children’s book author Dallas Clayton (Lily the Unicorn) is writing the screenplay based on a story developed by Sia, and it centers on a sober drug dealer and their relationship with a younger sister who has autism. The cast, so far, includes Kate Hudson as the older sister, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., Tig Notaro and veteran Sia video star Maddie Ziegler as Hudson’s young sibling. Sia is also working on music for Music, because it’s a musical, after all.
Warhol superstar Candy Darling gets resurrected
She died of lymphoma at age 29, but Candy Darling packed a lot of living into her few decades. She was a transgender icon and muse to Andy Warhol, appearing in his films Flesh and Women in Revolt, and even popped up in Klute with Jane Fonda, and in the legendarily odd queer indie Some of My Best Friends Are…. And if you’ve heard Lou Reed’s song “Take a Walk on The Wild Side,” an entire verse is about Candy’s sexual exploits. Now, 45 years after her death, she’ll be remembered in biopic form thanks to Transparent writer Stephanie Kornick and producer Zackary Drucker. The film — still in early days with no director or star attached — is primed for a talented young trans actress to show up and run with the material, much like what’s happening on FX with the groundbreaking series Pose. We can’t wait to see Candy walk on the wild side again.
Halston documentary is finally here
When a person in history continues to fascinate the public years after that person’s death, it’s almost inevitable that various biopics will try to get up and running. And for legendary fashion designer Halston there’s already been one documentary and now a TV series in development. Stepping in to plant its own flag, though, is Halston, the latest doc from filmmaker Frederic Tcheng (Dior and I, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel). Its somewhat unusual formal approach involves a scripted framework featuring fashion blogger-turned-actress Tavi Gevinson (Enough Said) and a tapestry of archival footage of iconic personalities in the designer’s orbit. That means people like Liza Minnelli, Marisa Berenson (Barry Lyndon), director Joel Schumacher and model Pat Cleveland will be swirling about in scenes from Studio 54 and other only-in-the-1970s glamour enclaves. When it’s released later this spring, dress yourself up, spritz on some of that Z-14 cologne they still sell at the drugstore and glide into the theater like you own the place.
Sarah Paulson gets Ratched
Ryan Murphy, the man who currently owns most of television, has another show coming. It’s called Ratched, and you’ll need to reach back to at least the 1970s to get the title’s reference, because that was when the film adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest won Academy Awards for best picture, director, actor, screenplay and best actress for Louise Fletcher, who played the monstrous Nurse Ratched. For this upcoming project — already given a deal for two seasons and 18 episodes — newcomer Evan Romansky has created an origin story, one that will star Murphy regular Sarah Paulson as a younger version of the nurse who grew to be a demon of the mental health care system. And there’s an all-star cast rounding out the event: Judy Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Corey Stoll, Amanda Plummer, Sharon Stone and Finn Wittrock, among others. You’ll be hearing plenty about it as the airdate approaches. It’s Netflix, after all; they know where to find you.
Laverne Cox and Sara Gilbert move to Weird City
Jordan Peele is, how they say, on a roll. From Get Out to producing BlacKkKlansman to the upcoming Us to the planned Twilight Zone reboot, if he touches it, people want to see it. And now he’s working on a new series for YouTube Premium called Weird City, alongside Key and Peele writer Charlie Sanders. The premise is comedic sci-fi, and it’ll be an anthology series, which means lots of one-off guest stars. Cast so far are people like Sara Gilbert, Ed O’Neill, Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera, LeVar Burton and Laverne Cox, all in as-yet-unknown combinations and storylines. Six episodes are coming later this year to YouTube Premium, so you’ve got some time to learn how to throw it from your phone to your TV.
Jamie Lee Curtis RSVPs to your queer wedding
Unless she’s been to your wedding, you might not know the name Sara Cunningham. She’s the mother of a gay son who wrote a memoir titled How We Sleep At Night. And what makes her story unique is the wedding thing. Last summer, Cunningham posted on Facebook that she would be a stand-in mom at any LGBTQ wedding where any of the betrotheds was rejected by biological parents. Now Jamie Lee Curtis has purchased the film rights to Cunningham’s book, presumably as a vehicle for herself. We’re imagining a heartwarming dramedy where the Halloween heroine buys upwards of 27 dresses to wear at a variety of queer nuptials, dashing across town in a zany get-me-to-the-church-on-time speeding car chase to attend her third ceremony in one afternoon. These are free ideas we’re giving you, Hollywood.
— Romeo San Vicente