Justice Smith joins ‘Magical’ satire
Young queer star on the rise, Justice Smith (“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”), is taking a detour from big franchises with colons in the title — he was also in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu” — and landing in a satire developed in the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Lab. The comedy is called “The American Society of Magical Negroes” and it’s the debut feature from filmmaker Kobi Libii (who’s written and performed on Comedy Central’s “The Opposition”). It’s the story of a young man recruited into a clandestine group of magical Black people who devote themselves to making white people’s lives better. Co-starring David Alan Grier, An-Li Bogan, Drew Tarver, Michaela Watkins, Rupert Friend and Nicole Byer, Focus Features picked up the film for distribution and plans to easily upset Fox News hosts with it when it drops into theaters March 2024. We’re buying advance tickets ASAP.
The ‘New Look’ will serve fashion in 2024
In the pipeline since early 2022, “The New Look,” a World War II-set drama from Apple TV+, is finally ready to work the runway. Starring Ben Mendelsohn (“Cyrano”) as fashion icon Christian Dior and French acting legend Juliette Binoche as Coco Chanel, the stylish series will explore the rise of the house of Dior as the world was embroiled in a century-defining battle. The cast includes John Malkovich, Emily Mortimer, Maisie Williams (“Game of Thrones”) and Claes Bang (“The Square”). Given occupied France’s atmosphere of dread during the war, expect to encounter as much turmoil as tights, but all the same it probably won’t be able to help itself from delivering glamour and queer resistance to the terror of the time. Apple TV+ will drop the first few episodes on Feb. 14with weekly installments to follow. Now that’s a Valentine.
Gus Kenworthy’s Christmas ‘Sacrifice’
The holiday slasher genre is giving gory gifts all over this season, with the grindhouse-steeped “Thanksgiving” and “It’s a Wonderful Knife” turning the memory of a classic upside down. And the trend will continue over on streaming platform Shudder when “The Sacrifice Game” drops. Directed by Jenn Wexler and set over the Christmas holiday at a school for girls in 1971 — shades of the ’70s classic “Black Christmas” — it involves students (Madison Baines, Georgia Acken) staying at school for the break and dealing with a gang of strangers/killers at the door. How does queer Olympian Gus Kenworthy figure into this? Is he the house mother? A murderer? Well, that’s a spoiler, so you’ll have to catch this one Dec. 8 to find out, but this holiday is going to be blood-red.
In 2024 ‘Tammy Faye’ meets Broadway
She was the singing televangelist turned talk show host turned queer ally turned legend. Tammy Faye Bakker’s life was the subject of documentary, Academy Award-winning biopic, and then stage musical from the creative team of Elton John and Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears. Olivier Award-nominated after its hit 2022 British run, now “Tammy Faye” is set to make its Broadway debut for the 2024-25 season. Plot-wise, it charts the way that Ms. Bakker ran up against Evangelical establishment figures in her quest to be her own unique brand of minister, one who reached out to queer audiences when no one else did. No cast news yet for the U.S. production, but that’s coming very soon. Meanwhile, get your outfit and makeup ready: no boring looks allowed on opening night.
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Photo courtesy of KathClick