By Romeo San Vicente
‘Supergirl’ gets her Maggie
“Supergirl” is going deep for its second season. The series, rather than stay self-contained, is going to expand its reach into the DC TV Universe, connecting the plotlines to other shows, just like the DC movies and DC’s arch-rival, Marvel, have already done. There will be a lot of complex connection to sort out for faithful viewers at home, but for our purposes the new development that matters the most is Maggie Sawyer. Floriana Lima has been cast as this new addition, a detective character introduced by DC Comics in the late ’80s, and one of the first characters to identify as a lesbian. Sawyer is an advocate for alien rights, which makes her an important friend for Supergirl, and, in the comics at least, she also becomes a romantic interest of Batwoman. It all gets underway on Oct. 10. And dear Marvel, catch up with the queer characters, please.
Disco lives in the Paradise Garage movie
If you saw the legendarily butchered “54” in its theatrical run, it means you care. It also means you won’t need anyone to explain Paradise Garage to you. Equally important if less well known at the time, Paradise Garage was cooler, funkier, blacker, and more queer than Studio 54, and its musical influence extends deeper into house music and club culture today. Legendary DJ Larry Levan was the man who created the clubs trademark sound, and people like Frankie Knuckles honed their skills there, too. It counted Keith Haring and Madonna as early patrons. And now there’s a movie, currently set to be called “Paradise Garage,” and it will tell the story of the beloved club’s rise to nightlife fame. “Paradise” will be directed by Jonathan Ullman, based on his short documentary, “What is Paradise Garage?” British actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith will take the role of Levan. Rayniel Rufino will portray Joey Llanos, who worked at the club and who will also serve as a consultant. Associate producer David Depino was one of the club’s DJs, so this is starting to feel like a real family affair. We want this one to hurry up and get itself on a screen somewhere so we can dance to it.
Britney baby one more (Life)time
Lifetime, the network that brought you unauthorized biopics of Aaliyah and Brittany Murphy, have found their next subject. The difference this time is that their subject is still very much alive, with a career in similar healthy circumstance. Britney Spears, who just keeps on keeping on, a woman who is probably more powerful and culturally popular at this point in her career than ever before, whose longevity in the fickle music industry makes her a legend-in-the-making, will be the subject of what is currently known as “Britney.” Directed by Leslie Libman (“Manson’s Los Girls”) and starring Natasha Bassett (“Hail, Caesar!”), the movie will cover the entertainer’s teenage rise to the pop charts, her troubled relationships with men such as Justin Timberlake and Kevin Federline, and her equally troubled relationship with fame. The good news? She’s got a really popular show in Vegas right now, so the happy ending is built in. Maybe they should call it “Stronger Than Yesterday.”
Netflix series ‘Dear White People’ sets cast
The main cast has been set for 2017’s Netflix series, “Dear White People,” based on filmmaker Justin Simien’s hilarious 2014 college comedy. Antoinette Robertson (“The Haves and Have Nots”), John Patrick Amedori (“The Vatican Tapes”), Ashley Blaine Featherson – who appeared in the original film but played a different character – and newcomer DeRon Horton will take the lead in the Lionsgate-produced sitcom about a small group of black students navigating academic, social and political paths through a predominantly white Ivy League university. The characters in the series will hew close to those in the film, and Simien himself will write for and direct episodes of the show. Great idea we just had: ask Spike Lee to direct at least one episode with a musical number in it for that vintage “School Daze” vibe. That’s a free great idea, Netflix/Lionsgate, because we’re generous around here. You’re welcome.