By Romeo San Vicente
Thought they were goners? Nope, the Cats have a release date.
When Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats, based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, was the hottest ticket in musical theater, film studios weren’t exactly lining up to make any sort of movie musical, much less one that involved the entire cast frolicking about in kitty costumes. And when they did decide to make one, it was A Chorus Line. But that was before the film musical resurgence; before Chicago, before Les Miserables, before Dreamgirls and whatever The Greatest Showman was supposed to be. It’s been so long that the show became a pop culture joke for decades before regaining some revival respect. It’s been so long that rumors of film versions died more than nine times, and at least one of the upcoming movie version’s stars, Taylor Swift, hasn’t been alive long enough to even know about all this stuff. But now there’s a release date: December 20, 2019. It’s going to go head to head with a new Star Wars movie, unafraid. It’s got Les Mis’ Tom Hooper as director, Ian McKellen co-starring, and Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, so at least you know “Memory” is in capable hands. Now it seems almost real, and it only took almost 40 years.
Mrs. Fletcher goes to series at HBO
We write about pilots sometimes, and then that piece of TV hope vanishes into the ether without a trace, abandoned by the network suits, leaving you thinking thoughts like, “Wasn’t The Corrections supposed to be a show at some point? Did it happen? Is it on Starz and nobody told me?” So it’s a pleasure to see one we were hoping would go the distance actually get a series order. The latest project from the amazing Nicole Holofcener, Mrs. Fletcher, starring Kathryn Hahn, has an HBO pickup with no set air date. The show co-stars Happy Endings alum Casey Wilson and transgender actress Jen Richards (Her Story) in currently unknown roles, and the series will follow the lives of an empty-nester Mom (Hahn) and her college freshman son (Jackson White) as their lives are impacted by internet porn. Holofcener alone makes this appointment television, because if anyone can deal with adult sexual entertainment thoughtfully, it’s her, and we love this cast, as well. One question: will there be promotional tie-in events with Pornhub?
Actor Garrett Clayton comes out
Millennial-aged actors are coming out in numbers that feel overwhelming compared to the not-so-recent past when virtually no one did, and they do it on Instagram, which is always a nice, casual touch. So this is an unofficial LGBTQ+ welcome to 27-year-old Garrett Clayton, whom you’ve seen in Hairspray Live, King Cobra, on shows like The Fosters, and – if you’re very young – in Disney Channel productions like Teen Beach Movie. He sings, acts, dances, and looks like Zac Efron’s little brother, which doesn’t hurt at all. And he has half a dozen upcoming projects under his belt, including the bullying drama Reach and the Nicolas Cage drama Between Worlds, both slated for this year, and the horror film Killing Games, currently in production. We’re always happy to report news like this, so go forth and conquer, young gay dude.
Boy Erased promotes responsible podcasting
The upcoming fall film Boy Erased, which stars Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, is the true story of a Baptist pastor’s son forced into discredited conversion therapy run by conservative Evangelical Christians. And the filmmakers have hit upon a unique and truly valuable bit of promotional content. They’ll be launching a four-part podcast, UnErased to coincide with Boy Erased’s release. Author Garrard Conley, whose memoir forms the basis of the film, will participate in the podcast, which will focus on real stories of young people forced into the abusive programs, which have affected an estimated 800,000 people since their inception. UnErased will be made available exclusively to Stitcher Premium subscribers in the weeks before the film’s Nov. 2 release, and available everywhere podcasts are hosted coinciding with that release. There are already laws on the books in some states banning these programs for minors. Let’s hope projects like this help turn the tide and protect queer youth in even more places.
Romeo San Vicente is happy to give your podcast’s Patreon at least one dollar.