One of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays, Coriolanus, based on the life of the Roman leader, just got the big screen treatment thanks to director Ralph Fiennes and gay screenwriter John Logan (The Aviator). Starring Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox and Vanessa Redgrave, it’s based on the life of the Roman leader and, naturally, involves banishment, revenge and political machinations. And sure, Shakespeare seems a tougher and tougher sell to American audiences these days, but it’s great that Fiennes went off and followed his muse anyway. Even better, the movie’s been picked up for distribution by The Weinstein Company and is coming to an art house theater near big city folks later this year in the hopes of cleaning up in the 2012 awards season. And if that happens, the rest of you multiplex patrons will have your chance to check it out, anon.
Good Christian Bitches coming soon
Yes, there’s a TV show going to pilot called Good Christian Bitches. Yes, of course, they’re going to change the name. It’s network television, after all, not Showtime. The Desperate Housewives-like project, produced by Darren Star (Sex and the City), written by Steel Magnolias scribe Robert Harling and based on the book by Kim Gatlin, involves a single mother returning to the wealthy Dallas suburb where she grew up, only to find herself surrounded by gossip, scandal and a gaggle of the title’s specific brand of venomous lady. With the housewives phenomenon – both the desperate and real varieties – simultaneously expanding and showing signs of creative fatigue, it’ll be a shot of fresh blood when this twist on the formula finds a place in a network schedule, provided the makers don’t lose their nerve. No actors are in place yet, either, but have the casting people considered going straight to the source for local talent? There’s really nothing quite like the real thing.
Debra Messing gets more gay pals
Call it whatever you want – the creators call it Smash – but please don’t call it Will & Grace II. OK, sure, it does star Debra Messing as a New Yorker whose closest relationship is with a gay man (not yet cast). But that’s where the similarities end. This gay man isn’t a bourgeois lawyer, he’s a Broadway composer and Messing is his lyricist/foil. Together the pair is commissioned with bringing a musical to the stage, with all the diva meltdowns that attend that sort of thing. More intriguingly, the project is produced by Steven Spielberg and being called a musical drama at this point in its development. As is the case with all pilots, the chances are great that it will never be seen by the general public, but this one seems promising and almost a sure bet for gay audience adoration. Here’s hoping.
The gay Jersey Shore?
Nothing succeeds like success, even if – and sometimes because – that success is incredibly trashy. Witness, then, what Jersey Shore has spawned: not only is the less compelling Jerseylicious still on the air, but now a gay version is apparently in the works. An open casting call recently took place in Hammonton, N.J., for a show tentatively titled Under the Boardwalk that will focus on a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people living in an Atlantic City beach house for a summer. The creators swear up and down that they don’t want to promote negative stereotypes or create a gay version of the Jersey Shore, but dignity is always the first quality thrown out the window in these sorts of endeavors. It also doesn’t help that the audition promotional spots asked, “Are you the gay Snooki?” Coming much later: A List: New York vs. Gay Jersey Shore Road Rules Challenge/Drink-Off.