By Romeo San Vicente
Whose presence will be felt in ‘The Muppets’?
There’s been so much rumor and speculation about what stars will pop up in “The Muppets” – the upcoming reboot of the film franchise featuring Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the rest of the crew – that it seems like this movie’s been shooting since “The Muppets Take Manhattan” came out back in 1984. But the long wait is nearly over – the new Muppet epic, starring and co-written by Jason Segel (“How I Met Your Mother,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”), is in post-production and will be in theaters before year’s end. But who else will star? It’s been confirmed that funny ladies Amy Adams, Emily Blunt and Rashida Jones are in the cast, but the still-officially-under-wraps bit players are even more queer-adjacent; the celebrity cameos allegedly include Wanda Sykes, “Modern Family”‘s Eric Stonestreet, girl-kisser Katy Perry, bear magnet Zach Galifianakis, tart-tongued diva Kathy Griffin, and the mother of them all, Liza Minnelli. Here’s what Romeo really wants to know, though: Will Scooter finally come out?
‘Wallflower’ dances with Emma Watson
Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is one of those beloved young-adult novels that always turns up on the lists of Most Frequently Banned Books, since it deals with (gasp) homosexuality, suicide and drug use. And now you can expect the book to become even more famous because it’s going to be a movie. Logan Lerman (“Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”) will play Charlie, a high-school outcast whose horizons are expanded when he is befriended by two unusual seniors, step-siblings Patrick and Samantha. The beautiful and uninhibited Samantha will be played by Emma Watson, in one of her first major post-“Harry Potter” roles, but no actor has yet been chosen to play Patrick, a gay student who’s having a secret affair with a closeted football player. Chbosky will adapt and direct his own novel for producer John Malkovich, and Mae Whitman (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) co-stars. Let the protests resume. Not among uptight parents, mind you, but among real life wallflowers resentful that they’re always being portrayed in movies by astoundingly attractive young actors.
Staring back at Marina Abramovic
You don’t have to have stood in line with Bjork and James Franco at New York’s Museum of Modern Art last year to have heard about the 700-hour-long staring contest that Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic undertook with anyone and everyone willing to sit opposite her and gaze into her eyes. The piece made headlines outside of the art world for its sheer audacity (and, yes, its celebrity fans).
The next step for Abramovic, then, feels exactly right: she will collaborate with Willem Dafoe and some high-profile gays for a theater piece about herself. “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic” will have its world premiere this summer in Manchester, England and will be directed by avant-garde A-lister Robert Wilson, with musical input from Antony of Antony and The Johnsons, as well as experimental electronic band Matmos (comprised of M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel, partners in life as well as music). In other words, big stars to people whose tastes run well outside the mainstream. And you know what that means: Bjork is going to scoop up all the front row seats unless you fans of weird stuff book your tickets – both for the theater and for the flight to England – now.
Sean Hayes a fine choice for ‘The Three Stooges’
Two stooges down, one Moe to go – that’s the latest casting news from the production camp of “The Three Stooges,” the upcoming feature about the knuckleheaded kings of physical comedy from filmmakers Peter and Bobby Farrelly. Curly came along first in the form of Will Sasso (“$#*! My Dad Says”) and now Sean Hayes has signed on to play Larry. It makes perfect sense, of course, since Hayes has a strong physical comedy background from his time spent as the exuberant Jack on “Will & Grace.” And there’s even a slight resemblance to the former boxer-turned-comic actor, minus all that frizzy hair. No word yet about whose names appear on the Moe short list, but no matter who winds up with the weird bowl haircut, the Farrelly brothers have already made a solemn vow that there will be “non-stop slapping” when this thing eventually hits multiplex screens. Finally, a biopic with its priorities in line.