By Romeo San Vicente
McKellen still stuck on Magneto
“X-Men 3,” the next installment in Romeo’s favorite metaphorically gay film series, is underway, and it looks like cast members will reprise their roles. Hugh Jackman has already signed on as Wolverine, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart are negotiating deals, and Ian McKellen is in talks to return as Magneto. Director Bryan Singer has jumped ship to work on “Superman,” so British newcomer and Guy Ritchie associate Matthew Vaughn has stepped in to handle director’s duties. Meanwhile, McKellen has an animated feature on his plate, too. He’ll be voicing a character in “Flushed Away,” the story of a well-bred rat lost in the sewers of London. Jackman’s on board for that one, as well, along with Kate Winslet and Simon Callow. Look for both movies to hit theaters in 2006.
Whedon’s ‘Wonder Woman’
In an era when even obscure comic-book characters become fodder for movie adaptations, it’s something of a wonder that the most beloved comic-book heroine of all hasn’t been seen on the big screen yet. Now Joss Whedon, creator of queer-audience TV favorites “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” has signed with Silver Pictures to write and direct the long-awaited “Wonder Woman” feature. Lynda Carter’s 1970s incarnation of the crime-fighter from all-female Paradise Island is a fond memory to an entire generation of lesbian and gay fans, so the woman who’s cast will most likely achieve instant queer-icon status. Personally, Romeo would like to see sassy “Gilmore Girls” star Lauren Graham pilot that invisible plane. Casting directors, please take note.
It’s ‘Just a Phase’ at ABC
Hats off to cable channel ABC Family for greenlighting the sitcom pilot “Just a Phase.” The recently shot series opener concerns a young teenage boy who finds himself conflicted about his sexual identity – a subject touched on by shows like “Oliver Beene,” “My So-Called Life,” and, currently, “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” But this will be the first time a sitcom has been created around a possibly gay teen character. Newcomer Mitchel Federan, last seen on Broadway in “The Boy from Oz,” has snagged the lead, while actors James McCauley (“The Manchurian Candidate”) and Seana Kofoed (“The Audrey Hepburn Story”) play the boy’s parents. Romeo will be on the lookout for this one, keeping his fingers crossed that it gets picked up for more episodes.
Ethan Green on the big screen
Plans for a film adaptation of the popular queer comic strip “The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green” have been in the works for so long it seemed like the project might never get off the ground. So it’s Romeo’s pleasure to announce that the lengthily titled movie has finally wrapped and is in post-production. The ongoing saga of Every-Gay Ethan, his friends both supportive and shallow, his on-again/off-again relationships, his conniving cat, his uptight mother, and his mentors The Hat Sisters, has the potential to re-invigorate the current sad state of big-screen gay comedy. “Camp” cute-guy Daniel Letterle plays Ethan, with Meredith Baxter as his mom. “Amazing Race” winner Reichen Lehmkuhl has a small role as well, so if nothing else the eye candy will be front and center. Look for Ethan’s arrival in theaters later this year.