‘It’ girl Sophia Lillis cast as Ellen’s ‘Nancy Drew’
Franchise alert! Ellen Degeneres’ A Very Good Production and Warner Bros. are teaming up to produce something that sounds very much like the template for a series of films reviving the character Nancy Drew. “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase,” which all but says, “We, too, can be like Harry Potter, and why not?” has begun principal photography, with “It” breakout star Sophia Lillis as the young lady sleuth. The character was the resourceful protagonist of a long, long, loooonnng series of mystery novels for young readers throughout a good chunk of the 20th century, and the time just feels right for a well-made revival of the once very popular and charmingly vintage take on girl power. Adapted by “The Handmaid’s Tale” scribe Nina Fiore and directed by Katt Shea (the legendary ’90s Drew Barrymore cult fave “Poison Ivy”), the film also stars Linda Lavin and a slew of young, up and coming faces. Now, if we can make one small request, let’s not clutter up the scenery with a bunch of boring Hardy Boys, OK? Thanks.
Simply Barbra, Barbra and more Barbra coming to Netflix
What becomes a legend most? A Netflix content package deal, of course, and that’s what’s coming soon from Barbra Streisand and the streaming platform. For the diva’s superfans, this means a bounty of musical riches, including TV specials dating back to the beginning of her career. Netflix will stream “My Name Is Barbra” (1965), “Color Me Barbra” (1966), “Barbra Streisand: A Happening in Central Park” (1968), “Barbra Streisand and Other Musical Instruments” (1973), “Barbra Streisand: The Concert” (1994), and “Barbra Streisand: Timeless” (2001). But it’s the extended version of her 1976 remake of “A Star Is Born,” tinkered with and re-worked by Streisand herself, that will probably draw the most fascinated attention (and maybe some funny Twitter commentary, too, if we’re being honest). It’ll have new footage, an alternate ending, and who knows what else. No drop dates yet, but we’re hoping it happens this summer while we’re on staycation and perhaps doing some day-drinking. We deserve this.
Billy Eichner is a ‘Time Travelin’ Jerk’
His TV series “Billy on the Street” scaled new heights of ironic celebrity obsession and public screaming, but you can’t run around the streets of New York City shouting at strangers forever without someone eventually punching you, so Billy Eichner’s next project will find him safely in the production office and the voice-over booth. Along with co-producers Anna Wenger and Doug Brady, Eichner will bring the animated series “Time Travelin’ Jerk” to the small screen. Created by Brady and written by Brady, Wenger and Eichner, the series is described as “Back to the Future” meets “Groundhog Day,” telling the story of a young girl stuck traveling in time with an accountant (voiced by Eichner) as her main sidekick. We’re hopeful for this, if for no other reason than we’re still deeply upset by Hulu canceling “Difficult People” and we want Eichner to soothe our pain by any means necessary. We also want cartoons made for adults to be inadvertently watched by unsuspecting children and their families, followed by awkward conversations.
Once Tab Hunter and Tony Perkins had a secret love
Back in the bad old days, most ordinary queer people stayed quietly in the closet. The pressure to do so was especially strong among actors and actresses, especially among those considered A-listers. Take Tab Hunter and Tony Perkins, two leading men of their era, both gay, and also very much a very private item. The now 87-year-old Hunter’s first-person account of this moment in his memoir “Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of A Movie Star” will form the basis of “Tab & Tony,” a Paramount project in the works from producers Zachary Quinto and J.J. Abrams. It will tell the story of their affair and their highly manufactured public images in an era when being exposed as gay meant the end of a career. A screenplay is in the works from Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Doug Wright (“I Am My Own Wife”), and directors and cast are still TBA. We vote yes to more historical drama of this sort, the kind that eradicate secret histories and remind hetero culture that we’ve been here the entire time.
Romeo San Vicente keeps it loud and proud.