By Romeo San Vicente
Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson reunite over ‘Beaver’
When you’re director Jodie Foster and you really want to make your mark after not directing a film in nearly 15 years (the family dramedy “Home For the Holidays”), of course the first project you think of is a black comedy about a man who wears a beaver puppet on his hand. That’s a given. Then you go get your unlikeliest of unlikely pals, Mel Gibson, with whom you starred in the really awful movie “Maverick,” and you get him to play the beaver puppet guy. And then you decide to play his wife. And while it may seem out of character for a woman who’s made big box office playing the protective-mom-on-a-mission-of-vengeance to jump into the idiosyncratic comedy end of the pool, it’s nice to see Foster finally getting any movie made after the decade-long stall of “Flora Plum.” And what do you bet that she’s the one woman Mel Gibson will obey? The movie’s in pre-production now. Puppet show happens in 2011.
Rupert Everett is a ‘Wild Target’
He complains about his career in the press from time to time, that Rupert Everett. And while it’s both entertaining and somewhat annoying to hear celebrities grouse as though they have to work at Taco Bell, Everett remains one of our more appealing gay actors – that charm and that accent never fail to win us over. And now, in between popular “St. Trinian’s” projects in which he does full-on boarding school headmistress drag, the “My Best Friend’s Wedding” alum will co-star in the film “Wild Target.” It’s a British action-comedy about a hitman wishing for retirement but finding no rest forthcoming, and it features the hilarious Bill Nighy (“Pirates of the Carribean”) alongside Emily Blunt, Martin Freeman and a breaking-out-of-Ron-Weasley-mode Rupert Grint (a casting move that ought to guarantee a U.S. release). Directed by Jonathan Lynn (“My Cousin Vinny”), the film has already wrapped and should, fingers-crossed, hit its target on these shores sometime in 2010.
Talking about Burroughs in ‘A Man Within’
Banned, groundbreaking, controversial, gay-before-it-was-OK author William S. Burroughs was both revered and reviled. Even his fictionalized persona in David Cronenberg’s hallucinatory film version of Burroughs’s even-more-hallucinatory novel “Naked Lunch” caused consternation. If you encountered the legendarily heroin-addicted writer, you came away with an opinion about him. And in the new documentary, “William S. Burroughs: A Man Within,” the opinions fly free from cultural figures and friends of Burroughs like John Waters (who describes him as the man who first talked about things no one was supposed to talk about), Gus Van Sant, Laurie Anderson, Peter Weller, Iggy Pop, Jello Biafra and the band Sonic Youth. There’s even an interview with the firearms-obsessed Burroughs’s gun dealer (the writer infamously and “accidentally” shot and killed his young wife in 1951) and a man with the world’s largest collection of poisonous snakes. Sounds fascinating already, and it doesn’t even have distribution yet. So be on the lookout for this one at a film festival near you.
‘The Real L Word’ is real. No, seriously.
Spin-off Alice-in-prison show “The Farm”? Nope. Feature-length movie? Maybe, maybe not. Cheap, fast and exploitive reality series? Oh yeah! That’s big news for fans of the – still hurts to say it – cancelled “L Word.” Creator Ilene Chaiken is developing a reality version of the hit drama for Showtime, in which several stylish Los Angeles lesbians will get into all manner of “unscripted” hijinks and wear really expensive outfits doing so. Fans are already as divided about the new project as they were about the original series, with those who prefer to watch wacky, soapy trash most likely coming out the ultimate victors over viewers who crave solid, true, integrity-rich stories about actual lesbian lives. But that’s reality television. If it were something to take seriously it would be a little-seen documentary at a queer film festival. Now, producers, please start the hunt for real-life approximations of Dawn Denbo and Jenny Schecter. We’re counting on you.