By Romeo San Vicente
Joel Edgerton takes on ex-gay conversion in Boy Erased
Now that we’ve got a vice president who thinks so-called “gay conversion” therapy is a valuable form of torture for LGBT young people, the need to take it down in popular culture is more urgent than ever. Boy Erased, the 2016 memoir by Garrard Conley about his time in a fundamentalist Christian camp as a young person, is getting a big push in the direction of that national conversation: Joel Edgerton is going to direct and write the film version. Based on Conley’s time in “Love in Action,” a faith-based program meant to “cure” young people of their homosexuality, the story will reach the screen starring Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) as the tormented and, ultimately, tortured son of an Arkansas minister, with Edgerton playing the leader of the program that tries to turn the young man straight. Edgerton is also in talks with Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman to play the boy’s parents. If production goes smoothly, it will probably mean a late 2018 theatrical bow, because it already has the meaningful subject matter movie studios love to bring out at awards time. More details on this one as they develop.
Cher if you agree
Cher: The Musical. That’s right. It’s called Cher: The Musical. It features her songs, and it’s coming to Broadway in 2018. Give yourself a moment to stop squealing and let that sink in. The woman is getting her own Mamma Mia! and, unlike ABBA, who had to sit back and let their show be about people who are not in ABBA and, presumably, had never even heard of the existence of ABBA, this one will do its subject justice and is all about Cher’s entire life from babyhood to “Believe.” There’s been a read-through, and the creative team includes Jeffrey Seller (Hamilton) and Flody Suarez (Rise) as producers, Jason Moore (Avenue Q) directing, and Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) writing the book. Meanwhile, most importantly, the casting calls for three stages of Cher – “Babe,” “Lady” and “Star” – with supporting characters Sonny Bono, Gregg Allman, Bob Mackie, David Geffen, Robert Altman, Rob Camilletti and Sigmund Freud. And if you ask us – and someone should – we’re not going to be satisfied unless we get baby Chastity and grown-up Chaz in there, too. This cannot happen soon enough.
Alexander McQueen documentary delves into designer’s short life
Sometimes they come in twos. Filmmaker Andrew Haigh (Weekend, 45 Years) is at work on a narrative biopic about the sharp rise to fame and abrupt end of the life of acclaimed fashion designer Alexander McQueen (he committed suicide at age 40). And now a competing documentary feature is in the works, as well. McQueen, the working title of Ian Bonhote’s film about McQueen’s career, will take on the tough task of making sense of the creative genius’s tragic demise. The London designer began his career as a teenager before becoming a designer for Givenchy, and was known for his sensation-making, media-courting work, eventually beginning his own fashion house, one that continues even after his death. Bonhote’s film appears to be taking the usual documentary form, with the promise of plenty of access to archival footage, photographs and audio, as well as dramatic recreations and interviews with people involved in McQueen’s work and life. Bleecker Street has already purchased the North American distribution rights, so now it’s a matter of what makes it into theaters first, the doc or the drama.
Are you ready for a gay male Golden Girls?
Sometimes subtext, given enough time, turns to text. And that’s why it’s possible that the classic ’80s sitcom, Golden Girls, a show that has always been considered an analog for aging gay men and counts gay men as the bulk of its ongoing fan base, could find itself rebooted. Sort of. It turns out that writers Stan Zimmerman and James Berg, who wrote for Golden Girls, Roseanne and Gilmore Girls, as well as the 1996 film A Very Brady Sequel, saw an acclaimed documentary about LGBT senior citizens called Before You Know It. The experience prompted them to collaborate on a new sitcom pilot, called Silver Foxes. There’s already been a table read with George Takei, Leslie Jordan, Bruce Vilanch, and SNL alum Cheri Oteri. And… well, that’s all for the moment. But they want to take it all the way. And they should. Queer baby boomers are already hitting retirement age. The Gen X-ers are little more than a decade away from it themselves. These people are going to need entertainment. And given the slow process of making a TV show reality, it might take that long. We’ll be waiting.
Romeo San Vicente is ageless, yet happily answers to “Daddy.”