By Romeo San Vicente
Sara Gilbert moonlights with ‘Bad Teacher’
Success breeds success. As a child star on “Roseanne,” Sara Gilbert won over the coveted sullen teen demographic with her portrayal of the smartass Darlene and now she’s got daytime TV-watching moms on board for “The Talk,” a show she created, executive produces and co-hosts. But the siren song of sitcom stardom has ways of making already-hard-working people double down to the point of exhaustion, so off she goes back to the prime-time well with “Bad Teacher,” based on the 2011 Cameron Diaz film. Ari Graynor (“For A Good Time, Call…”) will star as a spoiled former trophy wife with a bad attitude now teaching school. Gilbert, cast against her former type, will play a shy, introverted English teacher. Look, if Kelly Rippa can do it so can Gilbert. But seriously, if this pilot goes to series she’s just going to make all the other celebrity lesbians look lazy.
Mamie Gummer to play lesbian cop on ‘Backstrom’
Like mother, like daughter. Meryl Streep played a lesbian in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” and Stephen Daldry’s “The Hours” and now her daughter Mamie Gummer is doing it herself for TV. This fall’s cop drama “Backstrom” will star Rainn Wilson as an out-of-shape, offensive, difficult detective (think “House” minus the Hugh Laurie charm) whose self-destructive impulses get the better of him and Gummer will take the female lead role of Nicole Gravely, a lesbian detective dealing with the breakup of her longterm relationship. OK, maybe it’s less “House” than it is “Rizzoli and Isles,” if only one of them were a man and one of them an actual lesbian, but you get it. And whatever shape the eventual series takes, Gummer will have plenty of time for it since her former series, “Emily Owens, M.D.,” was canceled.
‘Rocketman’: about Elton John, by Elton John
As far back as 2005 Elton John’s Rocket Pictures has had a biopic of John in development. Originally the rumors were that Justin Timberlake would play the outlandish pop star as an adult, then the plans went on the back burner and for a while it seemed like the whole thing might be dead in the water. But now the project pulses with new signs of life: a director in newcomer Michael Gracey and a script from Lee Hall (“Billy Elliot,” “War Horse”). The story will follow John from his boyhood as a piano prodigy to stardom with lyricist Bernie Taupin, featuring plenty of detours into elaborately choreographed “Moulin Rouge!”-style production numbers. Now, if only Timberlake, whose film career is, at this point, pretty well established, would take on the part like all those premature reports promised, if for no other reason than it would be really cool to see him wear those “Pinball Wizard” shoes from “Tommy.” And, you know, that Donald Duck costume. Oh, all right, and to see him makeout with guys.
Even more Yves Saint Laurent films coming soon
The universe has decided that three documentaries about legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent (“YSL: His Life and Times,” “Yves Saint Lauren: 5 avenue Marceau 75116 Paris,” “L’amour fou”) were not enough. So now there are two additional French-language narrative feature biopics in the works. “Yves Saint Laurent,” from director Jalil Lespert, will star Pierre Niney as the designer and Guillaume Gallienne as Pierre Berge, Laurent’s longtime partner in life and business. This one’s already been picked for American distribution by The Weinstein Company. But strangely enough, it’s the other YSL film with bragging rights to bigger acting names, featuring acclaimed French star Jeremie Renier (“Atonement”) playing Berge and Gaspard Ulliel (“Hannibal Rising”) taking on the role of Laurent. No doubt it too will find a home in American arthouses eventually. But so it goes: in America we get competing asteroid, volcano and terrorists-attack-the-White-House films; in France it’s dueling projects about flamboyantly famous designers. They always could one-up us like that.