By Romeo San Vicente
Bella Thorne is ‘Famous in Love’
Young, hardworking Bella Thorne – who came out as bisexual on Snapchat, like the kids all do these days (and, you know, so what if she immediately decided to start dating “Teen Wolf”‘s Tyler Posey, because that’s no disqualifier; that is, in fact, what bisexual means) – has a lot going on. She has, in fact, no fewer than 10 upcoming projects coming down the road, including “Boo! A Madea Halloween.” Most of these projects are film-based, but it’s the pilot of the TV series “Famous In Love” that has us most excited. Based on the novel by Rebecca Serle, the series will follow a young actress (Thorne) getting her big break in Hollywood and the behind-the-scenes drama that ensues with newfound fame. The series also stars rising young talents like Keith Powers (“Straight Outta Compton”) and Charlie DePew (“Amazing Spider-Man 2”). Why the excitement? Because “Pretty Little Liars” has been on for a long time now, and we’re just looking for a new Millennial-based TV thrill. Simple as that.
Dee Rees is ‘Mudbound’ with Mary J. Blige, ‘Compton”s Jason Mitchell
Dee Rees, the acclaimed filmmaker responsible for “Bessie” and “Pariah,” is hard at work on her new movie. It’s called “Mudbound,” and it’s based on Hillary Jordan’s award-winning debut novel of the same name. Set in 1946, the story revolves around a city woman who goes to live on her husband’s Mississippi cotton farm. There she meets two WWII vets – one white, one black – who come to work the farm and find themselves having to deal with civilian life and Southern racism. Jason Mitchell (Eazy-E in “Straight Outta Compton”), Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clark and “Stranger Things” co-star Rob Morgan have all been cast and the film is currently in production for a planned 2017 release. We’re not sure how much lesbian content is in this one, even though Rees’ first two films featured lesbian protagonists. But, of course, there’s no law saying a lesbian filmmaker has to make a lesbian story, so we won’t worry about it; we’re happy to see any queer filmmakers getting their projects past the green light stage.
Salma Hayek is coming to ‘Dinner’
Salma Hayek (“Frida”) and John Lithgow (“Love is Strange”) are hosting what’s certain to be an intriguing party in “Beatriz At Dinner,” the latest from director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White. Hayek is Beatriz, a Los Angeles health practitioner who was raised in a poor town in Mexico. Lithgow is Don Strutt, who, true to his name, is a billionaire who thinks very highly of himself. Then they meet at a dinner party and neither of them leave the same person they were. The film co-stars Chloe Sevigny, Jay Duplass, Connie Britton and Nina Arianda, and is currently in production in Los Angeles. And yes, we get it, the premise is the kind that could easily turn into one of those awful message movies about understanding human difference. But this is a film from Arteta and White, whose past collaborations, “Chuck and Buck” and “The Good Girl,” were bold films about complex people who didn’t fit into neat narrative boxes. In other words, we’re excited for this one.
We want more ‘Will & Grace’ and so does Will and Grace (and Jack and Karen)
You saw the election-based clip with the old gang. And you got excited. Why wouldn’t you get excited? We need them now more than ever. Well, they got excited, too, it turns out. And the cast members of “Will & Grace” had some things to say about their hopes for a full-on reunion. Debra Messing wants it to be on Netflix or Amazon, “where it could be the naughty version.” She has a point. Network TV in the ’90s was, quite often if you recall, no place for so much as a real gay kiss, must less anything more daring, so prestige limited series is kind of an amazing idea (and it worked for “Full House”). Eric McCormack added he’d “be interested to get that call,” and Megan Mullally chimed in with something about anything being possible. Which is true. Anything is possible, especially when you have a built in audience for your intellectual property. One change we’d make: cast Mullally’s real-life husband Nick Offerman as her this-shouldn’t-work-but-it-does love interest. Just a thought. But seriously, we’re waiting.