By Romeo San Vicente
What’s Jane Lynch doing? We’re glad you asked.
At any given moment, Emmy-winning actor Jane Lynch might be hosting a game show, releasing a CD of Christmas songs, or even actually acting. Currently the latter is taking priority. Lynch is co-starring in a new sitcom pilot for director James Burrows (little obscure shows like “Friends,” “Frazier,” “Cheers”) and “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick. It’s called “Relatively Happy” and, come on, it’ll probably get a series order. Lynch will also voice a character in “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” the sequel to “Wreck-It Ralph.” But it’s Discovery Channel’s “Manhunt: Unabomber” that has our full attention. The TV crime series about the search for the notorious Unabomber will star Paul Bettany as that loner in the woods, and feature the divine Ms. Lynch as Attorney General Janet Reno. We love a good historical impersonation performance, and we can see this one fitting like lovely, yet butch, leather glove. We also can’t wait to see those amazing glasses.
Cheryl Dunye’s ‘Black Is Blue’ is the future
In the not-too-distant future, when San Francisco has been fully ruined by the tech industry’s gentrification, a young, transgender man named Black finds himself in the company of a rich trans woman named Blue, their budding relationship complicated by Blue’s “friend-bot,” an A.I. companion named Lison. A dangerous triangle grows. And that’s the plot of the new film “Black is Blue,” from acclaimed queer filmmaker Cheryl Dunye (“Queen Sugar,” “The Watermelon Woman”). Based on her own 2014 short, this expanded feature, co-written by Christina Anderson, sounds like no other queer indie film we’ve heard of, a quality that never fails to excite us. Another exciting development is the presence of trans actor Kingston Farady as Black, which takes the world one step closer toward Jeffrey Tambor getting his award show wish, where no trans character ever again needs a cisgender actor to play them. This one is coming from production company 13th Gen, sometime in 2018. Why does the actual future always take so long?
‘The Parting Glass’ is a ‘True Blood’ reunion
A family confronts the death of their sister, travels across the country to collect what she left behind, and deal with the memories dredged up by their collective loss in “The Parting Glass,” the directorial debut of actor Stephen Moyer (“True Blood”). In what amounts to something of a “Blood” reunion, the family drama is written by actor Denis O’Hare and co-stars Academy Award-winning “Blood” alum Anna Paquin (who also gets a producer credit). Filling out the cast is Ed Asner, Rhys Ifans, Melissa Leo and Cynthia Nixon (currently tearing up arthouse screens as Emily Dickinson in the acclaimed drama, “A Quiet Passion”). A distinguished bunch, to be sure, and that probably means this one will be arriving during fall’s awards season, when Serious Movies get their day in the waning sun.
Alex Strangelove finds romance with Netflix
Craig Johnson’s career is on the upswing. The queer director of such acclaimed comedies as “The Skeleton Twins” – with Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader – and “Wilson” (featuring a misanthropic Woody Harrelson) has a new film in the works: “Alex Strangelove.” It’s about a teenage boy reluctant to lose his virginity, the girlfriend who waits patiently, and the treacherous obstacle course that is high school masculinity enforcement. It’s in the pre-production stage now, and there’s no cast yet, but it does have a home when it’s ready to be seen: Netflix. Why, you ask? Shouldn’t it go to movie theaters? Didn’t you just say his career was on the upswing? Well, the answer to those questions probably involve you not buying a ticket to “Wilson” or “The Skeleton Twins.” See, you don’t go to movie theaters much anymore. You like to stay home. And the internet has provided a beautiful streaming solution for both established filmmakers and its rising talents, one that will make sure more people see “Alex” in one day than saw his other films during their entire theatrical runs. So it’s fine, keep your sweatpants on, the future of cinema will come to you.