By Romeo San Vicente
Alec Mapa (with Jane Lynch) in “Tru Loved.” Photo: Regent Releasing
Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Wanderlust’ to involve other women
Sure, “The Switch” was a terrible movie that no one went to see. But is that Jennifer Aniston’s fault? Judd Apatow doesn’t think so. He’s cast her and Paul Rudd in his new comedy “Wanderlust,” and filming begins soon. The story involves an unemployed Manhattan couple ditching the city to live with family in Atlanta, only to get sidetracked at a hippie commune. Apparently some lesbian threesome action will be included in all the free love going on – and yes, Jen will be one-third of that scenario – but it’s Apatow, so you might want to recalibrate your expectations for raunchy laughs instead of tender caresses. More importantly, this is a chance for Aniston to do two very important things: 1) star in a comedy that’s actually funny and 2) re-team with Paul Rudd (her BFF in the yawn-filled, gay-themed ’90s movie “The Object of My Affection”) in a comedy that’s actually funny.
‘Modern Family”s Stonestreet battles ‘Bad Teacher’
He just won an Emmy for his portrayal of one half of “Modern Family”‘s gay couple, which ought to help Eric Stonestreet’s management negotiate higher billing for him in the upcoming comedy “Bad Teacher.” It stars Cameron Diaz as a terrible middle-school teacher who, when dumped by her rich boyfriend, gets involved with a colleague and enters a bitter rivalry with a popular and beloved teacher. Stonestreet co-stars along with fellow gay-playing comic actor Thomas Lennon (Lt. Dangle from “Reno 911!”) as well as Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake and Molly Shannon. Of course, a comedy is only as good as the script, and this one is being written by “The Office”‘s Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg and directed by Jake Kasdan. So you’re allowed to get your hopes up when it hits theaters in April of 2011.
Steve Buscemi: From ‘Parting Glances’ to ‘Queer’
He started his very cool career playing a gay man with AIDS in the 1986 film “Parting Glances.” Now Steve Buscemi is tackling gay material again with his next project as a director, an adaptation of the William Burrough’s novel “Queer.” Burroughs’s semi-autobiographical story involves a man named Lee living in Mexico with his alcoholic wife and two children while seeking extramarital “encounters” with a variety of men. And if you’ve ever read any Burroughs or seen “Naked Lunch,” you’ll know enough not to assume that this story will resemble anything conventional. Think more hallucinatory than linear and you’ll be on the right track. A recent script reading involved actors Stanley Tucci and Ben Foster, but there’s no telling who’ll be involved once financing and casting is complete. The script is by Oren Moverman, director of the heavy-duty Oscar-nominated film “The Messenger,” so don’t expect light comedy either.
Alec Mapa to host new, man-inclusive ‘View’?
When “Ugly Betty”‘s Alec Mapa made Whoopi, Joy, Sherri and Elisabeth laugh out loud over and over on a recent episode of “The View,” it was clear that he was doing stand-up while seated on their couch. It was also pretty clear that the man was conducting a sort of unofficial audition for boss Barbara Walters. It seems that Walters is in the casting process for a new coed version of the hit morning show, one that’s no doubt meant to compete with upcoming CBS program “The Talk” (featuring lesbian Sara Gilbert). Also in the running? So far only ex-“Today” Bryant Gumbel and former Fox News commentator E.D. Hill (prevailing wisdom says always mix it up with a feisty conservative). But the hilarious Mapa would be perfect – and the prospect of him irritating the straight-laced Gumbel sounds really appealing, too.