Jill Soloway teams up with Red Sonja
You can probably thank Wonder Woman for the renewed interest in rebooting Red Sonja, the 1985 Brigitte Nielsen/Arnold Schwarzenegger action flop-turned-cult-film. And now that Bryan Singer’s involvement in the project has been terminated (or is that cancelled?) it was the perfect opportunity for Millennium Films to cast a vote of confidence in a female writer-director. This is, of course, what happened when they chose Transparent creator Jill Soloway as the person to run the show. There’s no doubt there will be an aura of queer energy coming off of this production, so suddenly we’re interested in yet another superhero movie. Casting will ramp up to find a woman to play Red Sonja – the comic book heroine of the 1970s whose stories have continued to this day – and though we have no idea who it should be, we will be on Twitter loudly complaining about any choice that isn’t Beyonce or Gaga. That’s how it works now.
The Prom dances over to Netflix
The Prom, the adorable queer teen Broadway show that makes audiences cheer and cry, is coming to Netflix. It’s about time, really: streaming theater makes a lot of sense for audiences who’ll never get a chance to visit New York or be able to afford the steep ticket price of most shows, and for those who can, it’s a great lure to see it in person. The real reason this is happening, though, is because the Tony-nominated musical didn’t win any, and without those to boost post-award-show box office, musicals tend to close unless they’re, you know, Beetlejuice. Therefore, on the show’s final night, August 11, anyone with a Netflix account will get to see it before it begins its inevitable tour of medium-sized cities. Now, in case you’re unaware, The Prom is about two high school girls in a small town who want to go to prom together as a couple, and their battle against bigotry involves a lot of singing and dancing. And now every small town Broadway diva will get a chance to enjoy it, too.
Spinning Gold from the Casablanca story
Freddie Mercury, Elton John, and… Neil Bogart? Sure, he might not be a household name, but he was a hit-maker on an epic scale in the 1970s, that’s because Bogart ran Casablanca Records, where the roster of talent included Donna Summer, KISS, Parliament, Village People, The Isley Brothers and Gladys Knight, among many, many others. And like Elton and Freddie, the late mogul is getting a movie.
Production begins July 16 in Canada on Spinning Gold, a film written and directed by Timothy Scott Bogart, son of the disco-boss who died in 1982 of cancer at the too-young age of 39. Bogart says the film won’t pull any punches on ’70s excess, and there’s already an impressive cast assembled: Samuel L. Jackson as George Clinton, Kenan Thompson as Motown’s Berry Gordy, Jason Isaacs, Jason Derulo, Jay Pharoah, D.L. Hughley, singer Jazmine Sullivan, Neil Patrick Harris, Michelle Monaghan, and Jeremy Jordan as Neil Bogart. At the moment, though, Donna Summer has yet to be cast. Now, some advice for the production, from very queer authorities on the matter: do not let anyone else sing for Summer, because no one can touch that greatness. Let them lip sync for their life.
Dee Rees: From Mudbound to a musical
Dee Rees’ next project will be The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies, a musical based on her own original script. It’s kind of the perfect move, since her last feature, 2017’s Mudbound, earned four Academy Award nominations, and her earlier HBO biopic Bessie got her a couple of Emmy nominations. Why not be bold and go for it with a musical after all that? With music by Santigold, Kyd’s concerns a young musician from a little town called Same Ol’ Same Ol’ who leaves in search of stardom in a sparkling place called It City. And in recent press, Rees has described her favorite childhood musical as The Wiz, so this over-the-rainbow vibe conjures up sketchy story details that must be intentional. We’re expecting great things here because we’ve loved Rees’ queer-centered stories since Pariah, and because there can never be enough musicals. This has been scientifically proven.
Romeo San Vicente just belted out “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma and you would have loved it.
Photo by Bigstock