By Romeo San Vicente
Prop 8: The Movie
First it was a horrible ballot initiative designed to strip marriage rights away from California’s LGBT community. Then it was a parody YouTube musical with an all-star cast. Then it was a play from Dustin Lance Black based on court transcripts. Then it was a dead piece of historic legal discrimination thanks to the Supreme Court of the United States (boom!) and now, thanks to HBO Documentary Films and directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White, the Proposition 8 media train makes another stop at the feature-length doc station. For the past five years, Cotner and White have had access to the work of both the legal team and the plaintiffs, whose stories gave the case such a powerful punch when it came to demonstrating Prop. 8’s harm to gay relationships with no concurrent benefit for society. The as-yet-untitled film is currently in production and is scheduled to air on HBO at an unspecified date in 2014. If justice prevails, there’ll be more states adopting marriage equality laws in the interim. Victory lap!
Billie Jean King: ‘American Master’
For the first time ever, PBS’s “American Masters” is going to profile a sports figure and that inaugural honor goes to tennis legend Billie Jean King. The 90-minute documentary on the 69-year-old King will focus on her career, one that challenged sexism in American sports and changed the way women’s athletic achievements are perceived all over the world. In addition to new interviews with King, the film will feature Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, members of the Virginia Slims Circuit “Original 9” like Rosie Casals, Gloria Steinem, Chris Evert, Margaret Court, Bobby Riggs’ son Larry, King’s friend Elton John and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Fittingly, “American Masters: Billie Jean King” will premiere September 10 on PBS affiliates to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the infamous “Battle of The Sexes” match between King and Bobby Riggs. This calls for a watching party: white Lacoste shirts and soft-butch haircuts mandatory.
‘HR’ gives Alicia Silverstone the job
We’ve missed Alicia Silverstone. Like, a lot. Our worn out VHS tape of “Clueless” bit the dust and then we wore out the DVD, too (yes, it can be done) as the talented comic actor focused on her own post-“Clueless” life – vegan cookbooks, unorthodox child-rearing practices, simultaneous Internet notoriety for those unorthodox child-rearing practices and a lot of less-than-awesome TV and film projects that we pretty much ignored (with the exception of that one-off episode of the hilarious and weird “Children’s Hospital”). But now Darren Star (“Sex and the City”) has her and we have hope again. A pilot for Lifetime called “HR” will star Silverstone and focus on the changes her character, a Type-A director of Human Resources for a large corporation, goes through after suffering a head injury. Drama? Comedy? Probably a little of both (although most likely not slavishly attached to being the female version of the old sitcom “Herman’s Head”), which suits us fine. Head injuries are like that. More news as this develops.
Ian McKellen to star in a zombie movie. Excited?
When you’re Gandalf and Magneto at the same time, you can do whatever you like. So you can forgive Sir Ian McKellen for deciding that another Shakespeare adaptation would be, of course, a wonderful idea … perhaps later. Right now he’d much rather run off to star in a zombie comedy sporting the unlikely title of “The Curse of The Buxom Strumpet.” You really can’t blame him. Set in the 18th century, the story concerns a small English village beset by a zombifying illness, causing the uninfected to flee, even if it means going to – oh dear – France. So think “Shaun of The Dead” with less electricity and more mud. Directed by Matthew Butler, the film also stars Gillian Anderson and Academy Award nominee Imelda Staunton and is due sometime in 2014. No word on who plays the Buxom Strumpet. Hope it’s McKellen.