Billy Porter and Gabrielle Union get ‘Real’
Billy Porter and Gabrielle Union are about to bring you a queer teen high school comedy. The “Pose” star recently finished directing his first feature film – the forthcoming “What If?” – and he’s already moving on to the next, called “To Be Real.” Gabrielle Union (star of “L.A.’s Finest” and outspoken mom to a transgender child) has a production company that sold the comedy to Amazon. With a script by Ryan Shiraki, writer-director of “Spring Breakdown” and the queer indies “Freshman Orientation” and “Poster Boy,” the movie is pitched as a cross between “Booksmart” and “Superbad,” the story of three queer high school kids traveling to their first New York City Pride parade and running into wild situations along the way. There’s no cast yet, and no shoot date, so place this one on your calendar as dropping sometime in 2022. Maybe by then Pride parades will be back, too.
Nyle DiMarco runs to ‘Flash Before the Bang’
If you’ve got Apple TV+ and you’ve finished binging as much of “Ted Lasso” as you can, you’ll find similarly heartwarming fare in “CODA,” the deaf family musical drama starring Marlee Matlin and Emilia Jones. Now, on the heels of that well-received film comes “Flash Before the Bang,” a true story about deaf athletes. Queer “America’s Next Top Model” alum Nyle DiMarco stars in the period drama about an all-deaf high school track and field team from the Oregon School for the Deaf. The team battled their way to wins over other public schools before becoming the Oregon State Track & Field Champions of 1986. The film is written and directed by deaf filmmaker Jevon Whetter, and “CODA” co-star Troy Kotsur and real-life wife, deaf actor Deanne Bray (“Heroes”), will have supporting roles. Currently in pre-production, shooting looks to start in spring of 2022.
Queer stars will spin the ‘Celebrity Wheel of Fortune’
It turns out that a lot of you found comfort viewing bliss last year with ABC’s “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.” And as the pandemic continues, the network is banking on you coming back to cozy up to the coming second season. There may not be anymore ceramic Dalmations on the prize platform, but there are more than a few queer celebrities who’ll be playing to win (and we assume donating those winnings to charity) when the new round of contests drops on Sunday, September 26. The line-up includes Tituss Burgess, Mario Cantone, Laverne Cox, John Michael Higgins, Raven-Symoné, Johnny Weir and bisexual musician Jason Mraz. In other words, it’s going to be a non-stop primetime Pride parade, a lot of LGBTQ+ folks buying vowels and solving puzzles. Stay home! Shout answers from the couch!
‘Nuclear Family’ explores queer parenting in the 1970s
To listen to most people tell it, the 1970s was a decade where queer people experienced sexual liberation, fought back against homophobes like Anita Bryant, and cheered on Harvey Milk. And while all of those things happened, and famously, there were quieter yet no less earthshaking revolutions taking place in domestic spaces. One of those spaces was the childhood home of filmmaker Ry Russo-Young, the child of lesbian mothers whose idyllic existence was thrown into chaos when one of the couple’s sperm donors sued for visitation and paternity rights. Now Russo-Young’s documentary about her mothers and the fallout from that lawsuit, “Nuclear Family,” will air in three parts on HBO and HBO Max. It’s essential, historically important viewing, a sobering reminder of decades of legal attacks on queer families, the legacy of lesbians losing custody of their own children, and how one family survived their ordeal. The series drops September 26.
Romeo San Vicente answers to Daddy.