By Romeo San Vicente
Felicity Huffman has a sex change
Felicity Huffman, whose character Lynette is the most harried of all the desperate housewives on the series of the same name, is about to switch genders. On screen, at least. Her latest venture into feature films, “Transamerica,” just premiered on the film-festival circuit, with Huffman’s portrayal of a male-to-female transgendered woman earning her glowing reviews. The story involves transgal Bree (whose name is only coincidentally the same as Marcia Cross’ “Desperate” alter ego), a woman who, on the verge of her final gender-reassignment surgery, discovers that years ago she fathered a son. A cross-country journey and personal revelations ensue. Directed by newcomer Duncan Tucker, the film also stars Elizabeth Pena (“The Incredibles”) and features a cameo from Calpernia Addams, whose real-life story was the inspiration for the TV movie “Soldier’s Girl.”
Penelope and Pedro do it again
Pedro Almodovar, the gay Spanish director who helped make Penelope Cruz a household name in the United States with his film “All About My Mother,” announced recently that his new movie, “Volver,” will reteam the pair. Set to shoot in Madrid and La Mancha, Spain, this summer, the comedy concerns three women from different generations who embark on a road trip in search of a better life. And Almodovar fans will be glad to know that “Volver” will also reteam the director with Spanish actress Carmen Maura, his long-time muse and star of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” The two had a public falling out in the 1990s but have since happily patched things up. Expect this latest offering from the Oscar-winning auteur sometime in 2006.
Black and White say ‘Yes’
Queer screenwriter/producer Mike White and pal Jack Black have not one but two new collaborative efforts on deck for their own Black & White Productions. The pair, who previously worked together on “School of Rock,” will take on an untitled picture for Nickelodeon Movies about a Mexican priest (Black) who moonlights as a “lucha libre” masked wrestler in order to save an orphanage from closure. The film will be directed by “Napoleon Dynamite” helmer Jared Hess. White, who wrote “Chuck and Buck” and “The Good Girl,” will also adapt the forthcoming memoir from British writer Danny Wallace called “Yes Man”. It will star Black as a man who, after meeting a mysterious stranger on a bus, begins saying “yes” to everything and, in turn, finds love and happiness. Sounds like Romeo’s idea of a good time.
‘HellBent’ slashes screens
Halloween night in the gay mecca of West Hollywood is usually reserved for fun instead of fright; but this fall, when “HellBent” hits theaters, that could all change. In this indie horror film from writer-director Paul Etheredge-Ouzts, the gay men of WeHo are in danger as a buff, shirtless, serial-killing maniac stalks them one by one. The cast is made up of young, cute up-and-comers like Hank Harris (star of the indie drama “Pumpkin”) and Andrew Levitas (“Beauty Shop”). And its production pedigree is pure horror, since veteran Hollywood player Joe Wolf – producer of “Halloween II”, “Halloween 3: Season of The Witch”, and “Roller Boogie” (well, it had Linda Blair, at least) – acted as a co-producer on the project. Look for “HellBent” to scare you out of your Cher costume this September.