By Romeo San Vicente
Chris Colfer strikes with ‘Lightning’
Actors’ shelf-lives can be short, so it’s never wrong to take advantage of any window of career heat. That’s the wisdom “Glee” cast member and recent Golden Globe-winner Chris Colfer is living by these days; he’s all set to make his first film, a comedy titled “Struck by Lightning.” And by “his,” that means he wrote it in addition to planning to star. Director Brian Dannelly (“Saved!” “United States of Tara”) will take the helm this summer while Colfer makes good use of his small-screen hiatus. The project is reported to be a John Hughes-like high school outing, a welcome thing, since Hughes never included gay characters in his ’80s classics. (No, Duckie doesn’t count. Neither does Mary Stuart Masteron in “Some Kind of Wonderful.”) And if the film turns out to be gay teen classic, then all the better. “Beautiful Thing” could use some company in that category.
Almodovar directing biopic of singer you’ve never heard of
Italian pop star Mina was a very big deal in Europe in the 1960s and ’70s. Think of her as the Madonna of her moment, courting controversy and shaking her body on TV when proper young women didn’t do that sort of thing. And in 1963 she made a decision that caused outrage across Italy: she had a baby with a married man. But in keeping with her liberated persona, she kept her head held high and remained a beloved figure to her fans. Sounds like a movie, right? It’s going to be, thanks to Pedro Almodovar, a man whose powerful female-centric stories have made him one of the world’s most acclaimed directors. At the moment Marisa Paredes, one of Almodovar’s go-to actresses, is set to star and production should go into full swing as promotion for his latest feature, the Antonio Banderas-starring “The Skin That I Inhabit,” winds down.
Finally: A lesbian sitcom on a major network. Maybe.
As NBC ushers in a new network chief, Bob Greenblatt, another change is possibly in the air. “I Hate That I Love You,” from former “Will & Grace” producer Jhoni Marchenko, is going to pilot. That’s typical news at this time of year, but what makes “Hate” different is that if it goes to series it will be the first primetime, major network sitcom about lesbians. Here’s the logline: “A straight couple introduces two of its lesbian friends to one another and what results is both instant attraction and a pregnancy.” There’s no casting news yet, but it’s still an exciting development, one that’s long overdue in this post “L-Word” world. Suggestion for the creators: If they didn’t both have to be white bread safe and super-lipsticky that would give you even more cred among actual lesbians, but then again they’ll be sure to tell you that themselves should you wind up making that error in judgment.
MTV gets better with Dan Savage
MTV might be feeling the heat of advertiser disapproval right now with its decision to air the sexually charged teen series “Skins,” but that isn’t stopping them from moving forward with a pilot from “Savage Love”‘s Dan Savage, the longtime sex advice columnist from Seattle’s “The Stranger” and The Onion’s AV Club. The man who created the “It Gets Better” campaign that saw gay adults making videos to encourage younger gay and lesbian people not to give up hope for a better future, Savage will pattern the show’s pilot on his college campus lecture tour in which he fielded questions from the post-adolescent audience. And if you’ve seen him speak publicly or read his column, you know that his brand of sex advice is unflinchingly honest and almost always graphic. Makes you wonder how much language bleeping MTV is prepared to do in the name of authenticity. No news on when the show may air, but brace yourself when it does.