Arts & Entertainment
Deep Inside Hollywood
By Romeo San Vicente
Originally printed 5/31/2012 (Issue 2022 - Between The Lines News)
Colin Firth is a coward. Noel, that is.
Academy Award winner Colin Firth is going back to his roots by playing yet another gay man. A pioneer in the "who cares, it's only acting" school of thought when it comes to portraying non-hetero characters - he did it when nobody else was, in the 1980s, with "Apartment Zero" and then several more times in films like "A Single Man," Mamma Mia! and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" - Firth will soon step into the shoes of the late great playwright and composer Noel Coward. The project is called "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" and will focus on the true story of Coward's two week cabaret stint at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas back in 1955. Much like the recent "My Week With Marilyn," the concentrated time frame of the story will examine Coward's relationships with his agent and his piano teacher. And we trust that those were "fascinating" friendships, otherwise there'd be no movie about it. Right? In pre-production now, it'll be heavily marketed to a highly specific subset of moviegoer sometime in on or before 2014. Musicians are difficult to pin down.
Triple threat rhymes with Rupert Everett. Sort of.
Rupert Everett is currently wisecracking his way across arthouse theater screens as the Victorian-era inventor of the vibrator in the Hugh Dancy/Maggie Gyllenhaal comedy "Hysteria." And if it seems like period pieces suit the actor these days then that's because they do, with his upcoming project, "The Happy Prince," promising to keep him in old-fashioned costumes for just a little bit longer. Everett will write, direct and star in the film as Oscar Wilde (during which phase of the controversial, quotable playwright's life is somewhat uncertain, since fellow gay Brit actor Stephen Fry already portrayed him in the '90s biopic "Wilde"). And the triple-threat has already lined up an impressive cast of co-stars: Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson and, reteaming with his '80s cast-mate from "Another Country," Colin Firth, who'll portray Wilde's friend Reginald Turner. Call this one pre-pre-pre-production for the moment: There won't be a single camera pointed at a single waistcoat until summer of 2013.
Elizabeth Banks reaches for her revolver
She's a franchise baby for now, with "The Hunger Games" giving Elizabeth Banks her highest profile role to date as Effie Trinket. But in between installments of that blockbuster series, the "30 Rock" regular plans to keep you laughing - even as you cringe - in a comedy about... killing your co-workers. Alan Ball, Oscar-winning creator of "American Beauty," "Six Feet Under" and "True Blood," has cast Banks in his latest movie, "What's the Matter With Margie?" The dark, darker, darkest comedy, slated for a 2013 start date, will focus on an abused office worker who's been dumped on for the last time by her co-workers and resorts to planning their murders. Think "Office Space" meets "Heathers" meets "Psycho" (or "Horrible Bosses," come to think of it). Just don't think about taking any impressionable cubicle-mates on opening weekend.
Harold & Kumar meet the Cartoon Network
The minute John Cho and Kal Penn became claymation figures in "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" it's almost certain that light bulbs went off in the heads of the weird people in charge over at Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" programming branch. "Of course!" the collective mind must have exclaimed, "What better delivery system for stoner delight is there than cartoons? And who'd make a better cartoon than America's favorite stoners?" Which is how Harold and Kumar became the latest upcoming series you'll have to stay up very late to watch (or just DVR) on basic cable. The green light's on for a batch of episodes (coming, who knows, soonish probably); Cho and Penn will voice their White Castle-loving characters and it's pretty much a lock that a certain gay actor who's very good at playing a drug-addled womanizer who only pretends to be gay to get closer to the ladies will join in the mayhem from time to time. That would be Neil Patrick Harris, by the way. Keep up.Romeo San Vicente has pretended to be a lot of things to get what he wants. And he always gets what he wants. He can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.
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