By Romeo San Vicente
cut/ Armie Hammer. Photo: Debby Wong
Armie Hammer plays gay in ‘Call Me By Your Name’
Soon to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, “Call Me By Your Name” has already been picked up for theatrical distribution by Sony Pictures Classics. That’s good news for male audiences hungry to solidify that crush on Armie Hammer, as the actor will play a gay academic traveling through Italy. Based on the novel by Andre Aciman, it’s the latest from popular arthouse filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (“I Am Love,” “A Bigger Splash”). Set in 1983, the story involves Hammer’s character, a man in his mid-20s, falling for an 18-year-old played by Timothee Chalamet (“Love The Coopers”), with the usual ensuing complications. Guadagnino co-wrote the adapted screenplay with James Ivory and Walter Fasano, and the film also features new music by Sufjan Stevens. Meanwhile, if you’ve seen Guadagnino’s earlier output, you know the director doesn’t flinch from adult situations becoming very explicit. In other words, ignoring the high quality filmmaking angle for just a bit and indulging our more basic instincts, there’s going to be a lot of naked dude sex in this movie. Sold yet?
‘Young Justice’ already has queer characters?
Sometimes it’s more than neo-Nazis and their favorite new president on Twitter. Sometimes it’s TV series creators clapping back at anti-gay trolls. We’re talking specifically about Greg Weisman, the co-creator of the animated series “Young Justice,” who recently tweeted that the show, moving from Cartoon Network to Netflix as we speak, will be revealing the as-yet-unspoken queerness of one or more characters. He did so by way of response to people we assume were hiding behind egg avatars, as they hauled out the tired “What about the children?” argument for the inclusion of LGBT characters in a show aimed at kids. What’s odd about this, of course, is that there has been no indication that any of the “YJ” superheroes are even thinking about their sexual orientation or gender identity. But that’s the beauty of episodic TV, anything can happen in the next episode, even if it’s being done just to rile up the bigots. We’ll be keeping a queer eye on this one to see how it all shakes out.
‘Six Feet Under’/’True Blood’ creator Alan Ball is back at HBO
Alan Ball has written a new show. The man who gave queer viewers “Six Feet Under” and “True Blood” is returning to HBO with a fresh series – that has no name just yet – and there’s casting going down right now. Holly Hunter will star (honestly, this news can begin and end here and we’ll be devoted followers for good, so deep is our love for Ms. Hunter) as a socially conscious Baby Boomer who, along with an as-yet-uncast husband character, adopted children from Vietnam, Somalia, and Colombia a couple decades ago. Now those kids are grown up and one of them is experiencing hallucinations – visions, if you will. Clearly, these visions are not going to respond to medical intervention or they wouldn’t be part of the log line. Let’s just assume they’re destined to involve consequences for everyone. Daniel Zovatto (“Fear the Walking Dead”) plays the young man who sees beyond, and his siblings include Raymond Lee (most recently seen on “Mozart in the Jungle”), Jerrika Hinton (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Sosie Bacon (“Scream”). When this thing has a name we’ll be on it.
Cher takes on Flint’s poison water
We haven’t seen much of Cher in film or on TV lately, but her fiery political activism is a constant for anyone who follows her on social media. Now she’s translating that passion into a movie for Lifetime, about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In case you’ve been living in a news blackout, corrupt politicians have allowed Flint’s water system to become undrinkable and deadly poisonous, with lead levels at murderous levels, and this situation remains uncorrected since 2014. Now, along with Katie Couric and the gay production team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Cher will co-produce and star in the narrative feature, written by Barbara Stepansky, whose working title is “Flint,” about this environmental and human disaster. Just don’t expect any “Burlesque”-style song-and-dance moments. It’s been even longer since we’ve seen Cher in something this topically reminiscent of “Silkwood,” and it promises to reach for that level of powerful anger.