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By Romeo San Vicente
Streep meets Thatcher at the movies?
She’s already accomplished so much, but now it looks like Meryl Streep will become the British Prime Minister, the 1986 version anyway. The “Julie & Julia” star is currently in talks to star in a biopic about Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister during England’s last lengthy conservative era, the 1980s. A millimeter more socially progressive than Ronald Reagan – Thatcher was an early supporter of decriminalizing homosexuality in England – she still supported a controversial anti-gay statute in England called Section 28, which sought to squelch the “promotion” of homosexuality. So even though the proposed title is “The Iron Lady,” the director is Phyllida Law, who worked with Streep once before on, of all cute things, “Mamma Mia!.” In other words, let’s hope the eventual movie doesn’t gloss over that sort of detail in the hope of making Thatcher more adorable than she actually was. Maybe they could call it “The Devil Wears Drab Conservative Garments” instead.
Mark Ruffalo follows his ‘Heart’
Anyone who follows the development hell of gay-themed film projects as they wind their way through the treacherous, unforgiving studio lots of Hollywood can tell you that there is almost no more propped up and knocked down title than Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart.” The list of people who wanted to turn the semi-autobiographical 1984 play about the early days of the AIDS crisis into a movie and who failed to do so is too long to rehash here. But it looks like there’s forward momentum yet again and that Mark Ruffalo, currently starring in the lesbians-meet-their-sperm-donor dramedy “The Kids Are All Right,” is on board to star and “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy is reported to be circling the director’s chair. With any luck, this project won’t be scuttled once again and wind up waiting for the day that Dakota Fanning’s ready to direct it.
Jane Lynch fills ‘iCarly’ with glee
It’s understandable if you’ve never watched “iCarly.” It’s unlikely that you are an elementary school-aged child, the hit Nickelodeon show’s target audience. But if you’re reading this, it’s a safe bet that you probably know and enjoy the work of “Glee”‘s comic villain, Jane Lynch. Well, the two worlds are about to collide as Lynch has signed on to shoot a guest spot on the children’s sitcom. She’ll play the never-before-seen mother of Carly’s (Miranda Cosgrove) best friend Sam (Jennette McCurdy). Lynch’s own 8-year-old stepdaughter is such a huge fan of the series that a reference to it was included in Lynch’s recent wedding vows to her partner, so this was probably a family-inspired job application. And it’ll further serve to open up Lynch’s already-booming fan base expansion. The episode is shooting now and will air during “iCarly”‘s third season. And it’s safe to assume that track suits will almost certainly be banned from the costume trailer.
Rupert Everett to treat Gyllenhaal’s ‘Hysteria’
You’d think that the much-beloved genre of British period films (the kind your mom loves and whose popularity soared with the career surge of filmmaking partnership Merchant-Ivory) had exhausted its supply of innovative story lines. But here comes a naughtier and more historically accurate spin on the Victorian world. “Hysteria,” set in the mid-19th century, will explore the invention of the vibrator. It was a medical device used on women who were diagnosed with “hysteria,” a condition that, at the time, was characterized by irritability and anger and was, in turn, also a tool to keep women in line. Its treatment? Manual pelvic massage, which surely pleased the condition’s “victims” and most likely, if indirectly, set the stage for their eventual social liberation. To be directed by up-and-comer Tanya Wexler, the film, due in 2012, will star Maggie Gyllenhaal (“Crazy Heart”), Rupert Everett, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce and a prop department full of vintage personal massagers. Teatime is looking sexier than ever.