By Romeo San Vicente
Russell Tovey is gay superhero The Ray for the CW
After Thanksgiving weekend is over and you’ve successfully shaken off your family until late December, the CW has a gift to soothe you back into comfortable queerness: Russell Tovey, the “Quantico”/”Looking” star with the cute ears, will be playing gay superhero The Ray for a CW “Arrow”verse four-part crossover special. Oh, you don’t know what “The Ray” is? OK, comic book lessons start now: The Ray is a part of DC’s Justice League, and he’s a man who got exposed to a genetic light bomb (not important to know what that is because we’re shaky on the concept ourselves) and now has light-based superpowers, which allows him to fight criminals. Also, he’s gay. Now you’re caught up. Tovey will keep on being The Ray after this special, as well, because he’s also voicing the character for CW Seed’s upcoming animated series, “Freedom Fighters: The Ray.” There’s going to be so much gay Ray you won’t know what to do with all of it. Tune in November 27 and 28 for a crash course in believing that a gay superhero can blind bad dudes with the power of justice. Something like that.
‘Moonlight’ writer McCraney takes on Disney’s ‘Cyrano’
Tarell Alvin McCraney, the Academy Award winning co-writer of “Moonlight,” has a suitably high-profile project in the works, this time with Walt Disney Pictures. “Cyrano The Moor” is the title, and it’s a musical mashup of Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello” and Edmond Rostand’s comedy “Cyrano de Bergerac.” The live-action musical will star David Oyelowo (“Selma”) as Cyrano – good idea, as he’s already played Othello to great acclaim on the stage – and be set in 19th-century England. And that’s as far as the information goes at this point. No other co-stars yet, no director, no word on who’s creating the music. But this one definitely has our interest and we’re excited to see how McCraney will synthesize two seemingly opposing literary forces, all while putting a queer spin on the material.
Anna Paquin is the ‘Bees’ knees
There are only so many times you can watch “Carol,” you know? Yes, we understand that it’s perfect in pretty much every way, what with the impeccable 1950s period detail, Cate Blanchett’s gorgeous outfits, Cate Blanchett’s dom attitude, Cate Blanchett’s… well, literally her everything. “And” it has a happy ending. So it’s as if the movie-making goddesses heard our yearning for more of that and decided it was time for another lesbian romance set in the 1950s. Which brings us to “Tell It To The Bees.” Based on Fiona Shaw’s 2009 novel, the currently-in-production drama stars Academy Award winner Anna Paquin as a doctor in a rural British village who falls in love with a young woman played by Holliday Grainger (“Tulip Fever”). Grainger’s hetero romance has recently hit the rocks and the only cure is some lady doctoring, and that more than suits our requirements. Currently shooting in Scotland with director Annabel Jankel, it’ll probably hit screens in 2018, even though we’re ready for it now.
‘George Michael: Freedom’ coming soon to Showtime
In between Halloween parties later this month, be sure to sit down and have a moment of remembrance for the late great George Michael, when Showtime airs the documentary, “George Michael: Freedom.” Co-directed by Michael and David Austin before the singer’s death, it’s a look into the making of his legendary album, “Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1.” It also follows the British High Court battle Michael had with his record label and the death of Michael’s partner, Anselmo Feleppa. The list of interviewees is lengthy for this one, understandably, and includes “Freedom 90” models Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista, as well as fellow musicians Elton John, Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Liam Gallagher, Mary J. Blige and Tony Bennett. We’re glad this one was in Michael’s hands and will be about significant events from his own perspective, rather than someone else’s cash-in, tell-all, post-mortem. The film premieres October 21.