By Romeo San Vicente
Desiree Akhavan is here 2 creep in ‘Creep 2’
After taking a bow with 2014’s indie comedy “Inappropriate Behavior,” where she wrote, directed and starred as a young bisexual Persian woman creating her own rules, Desiree Akhavan has moved into Lena Dunham Land, not only by guest starring on “Girls,” but also by creating her own series in the UK – currently in development – called “The Bisexual.” This is, of course, great news, and queer women’s stories, especially of the non-white variety, are in short supply. But as horror junkies forgive us for being extra thrilled by the latest bit of Akhavan news: she’s co-starring in “Creep 2.” Didn’t see “Creep”? Well, you should, because it was a gnarly bit of unsettling horror from 2015 directed by and starring first-time filmmaker Patrick Brice, and co-written and co-starring Mark Duplass. It concerned a naive videographer who winds up answering the most disturbing Craiglist job listing of them all, then having to fight for his survival. Akhavan will enter this nasty little universe, and we couldn’t be happier, especially if she gets to battle the Creep herself. We think she could probably take him.
James Baldwin documentary ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ coming soon
“I Am Not Your Negro,” from filmmaker Raoul Peck, having won the documentary audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival, has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures for distribution in North America. The film is based on the life and writing of African-American novelist and essayist James Baldwin, specifically his unfinished book, “Remember This House.” Narrated by Samuel L Jackson, it positions Baldwin in history, in his own words, during the time of the assassinations of Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr, all of whom were his friends. And though his work was new decades ago, it remains relevant; Baldwin was the kind of writer – openly gay in the mid-20th century, when it was difficult enough just being a black man – whose books right-wingers love to try to ban, even in 2016, primarily because the conditions he wrote about in now-classic books like “Giovanni’s Room” and “Notes of a Native Song” have changed so little in so many ways. Look for this one to pop up during awards season.
Stacie Passon takes on Shirley Jackson and Sebastian Stan
Acclaimed Lesbian Director Alert: Stacie Passon has a new film and you’ll probably want to see it. As the follow-up to her Sundance 2013 debut, the queer drama “Concussion” (no, not the one about football, the other queer drama), which also won her a Teddy Award at the Berlin Film Festival, she’s in production on “We Have Always Lived in The Castle.” If that title sounds familiar, it’s because it’s based on the 1962 novel by author Shirley Jackson. A mystery-thriller, the story involves a family living in isolation. Of course, the reason they live that way is because several people in the family have already been murdered. To make matters worse, along comes a cousin who thinks he’s going to steal the family fortune. It gets weirder from there. The cast is set: Taissa Farmiga (“The Final Girls”), Sebastian Stan (that little indie world known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which he is a Winter Soldier), and the extremely cool Crispin Glover (“Back to The Future”) are all on board. Currently shooting in Ireland, now we just sit and wait for the creepiness to crawl into theaters.
Jen Richards joins cast of ‘Nashville’
If you ever wondered when a show on CMT was going to feature a transgender person, you’ve got your answer: now. “Nashville,” the series that lived on ABC for four seasons, developing a devoted but small audience – and struggling ratings — found itself cancelled and then revived for at least one more year by CMT. It’ll be the same show, but the plot just got queered a little, as the upcoming 22-episode arc features a new character, a physical therapist played by trans actress Jen Richards. We don’t know at the moment if Richards character will be a trans woman on the show, but we don’t really care. Casting trans actors is good enough all by itself. Richards is the Emmy-nominated creator of the series “Her Story,” and she’s appeared on “I Am Cait,” Logo’s “Beautiful As I Want To Be” and AOL’s “True Trans with Laura Jane Grace.” She’ll also appear very soon on the Laverne Cox-starring series “Doubt.” So she’s been pretty busy. And we’re going to finally start watching “Nashville.” Can she sing, too? Does she get to sing? We think she should sing.