By Romeo San Vicente
‘Mary Poppins 2: The Possibly Very Bad Idea’
We’ve reached a point in film history – and more specifically, in the history of the business of Hollywood – where remakes and reboots are just How Things Are, like it or not (we side mostly with “not,” just fyi). So it’ll come as zero shock that Walt Disney Studios has big plans to revisit its most beloved and acclaimed live-action film of all time: “Mary Poppins.” It isn’t going to be a proper sequel, nor will it be a remake. It will be set about 20 years after the original film, in 1930s London, and will draw its plot from stories in P.L. Travers eight “Poppins” books. Disney has chosen a director – Rob Marshall – and “Life of Pi”‘s David Magee as screenwriter for the project. They’ve also chosen acclaimed songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”). But what they haven’t chosen yet is the big catch: Mary Poppins herself. Who steps into the shoes of the legendary Julie Andrews and holds her own? Who dares? We have no idea. But she’d better be that perfect combination of stern disciplinarian and bright, song-filled enthusiasm, or it’s all going to be like a pot of room-temperature tea. Oh, wait, we’ve got it: Emily Blunt. It’s Emily Blunt. You hear that, Hollywood? It’s Emily Blunt. You have your instructions.
Sexy queer disability begins to ‘Oscillate Wildly’
Setting aside the trendy appropriation of a Smiths song title for his latest feature, “Oscillate Wildly,” filmmaker Travis Mathews doesn’t much like to go where others have already tread. His narrative feature, “I Want Your Love,” featured explicit real sex as it told the story of a going-away party and gay male longing. His next, “Interior. Leather Bar.,” imagined an alternate life for the controversial film “Cruising.” And now he’s teamed with executive producer James Franco and some gay men with disabilities – such as queer blogger Andrew Morrison Gurza, who lives with cerebral palsy and served as a production consultant – for “Oscillate,” which is shooting now. The film revolves around a subject usually ignored by queer cinema: the lives of physically challenged gay men, specifically one working-class guy with CP and his search for love during a scorching Austin, Texas, summer. The goal is simple: matter-of-fact representation and moving drama not based on triumphant “overcoming,” and a reminder that stories for everyone often come from highly specific, and singular, circumstances.
Mother’s Day for lesbian stand-up Cameron Esposito
Look, we’re not going to lie and tell you we’re overly excited for Garry Marshall’s upcoming mega-ensemble comedy, “Mother’s Day.” That’s because we saw his earlier movies, “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve” (fool me twice, and all that). But these films are big hits with big swaths of the population, in the same way that Olive Garden is a popular Italian restaurant; “somebody” out there is lining up for it. But let’s talk about love for a moment. We love lesbian stand-up Cameron Esposito and “Mother’s Day” will have a lesbian storyline featuring the comic. She’ll play a young mother raising a son with her female partner, and she’ll be joined on screen by the usual Garry Marshall cast of dozens: Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis, “Tomorrowland”‘s Britt Robertson, Timothy Olyphant, “The Daily Show”‘s Aasif Mandvi, and “Pretty Little Liars” star Shay Mitchell, to name but eight. And after the ludicrously timid gay male storyline of “Valentine’s Day,” there’s only one way for Marshall’s brand of sometimes clueless inclusiveness to go, and that’s up. Get ready for April of 2016. Your mom is going to want to see this one.
‘Hart to Hart,’ but with gay dudes
A “by the book” lawyer named Jonathan Hart and his free-spirited partner in life and crime-solving, Dan Hartman, are about to pick up where Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers left off. Who are Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers, you ask, oh young person? They were the backbone of the breezy, silly, glamorous “Hart to Hart,” that ABC TV staple of the 1980s. And now that show is getting the queer reboot it needs, thanks to producer Carol Mendelsohn and Sony TV. We love this idea, and we want something more than two pretty, bland, white guys as leads, OK? Go outside the box, with us, remakers, and give us Guillermo Diaz and Alec Mapa; or alt-comics Hannibal Buress and Kyle Kinane; or Empire’s Jussie Smollett and Damon Wayons, Jr. Whatever it takes, really. Just don’t be boring and we’ll watch.