Now that everyone has seen The Social Network, the talk has swung back and forth between Oscars and the cool way director David Fincher turned super-tall, super-handsome, baking soda heir Armie Hammer (yes, he’s from that family) into twins. It involved digitally grafting Hammer’s face onto the body of an equally height-blessed actor named Josh Pence, for the record. But the face matters, and so Hammer is the man just cast by Clint Eastwood in his biopic of J. Edgar Hoover, J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron. Hammer will play Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s right-hand man and, if some historical records are to be believed, also his secret lover. Will the Dustin Lance Black-penned movie deal explore that speculative aspect of their relationship? Or will all gayness be downplayed? And if so, then what’s the point? Find out late in 2012 when it’ll no doubt be presented as Oscar bait.
Cynthia Nixon signs on to Fail
Too Big to Fail sounds like what the makers of Sex and the City 2 were thinking before they saw the finished product, but it’s actually the new HBO movie co-starring Sex alum Cynthia Nixon. It’s from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Curtis Hanson (_L.A. Confidential_) and it’s about Wall Street’s 2008 financial crisis. Of course, that’s a subject that was already dealt with in a rage-inducing 2010 documentary Inside Job , but this version gives it that sugary movie star face that helps the medicine go down. Rounding out the large ensemble indictment of big finance will be William Hurt, Ed Asner, Billy Crudup, Paul Giamatti, Topher Grace, Matthew Modine, Michael O’Keefe, Bill Pullman, Tony Shalhoub, James Woods and Nixon’s fellow Sex comrade Evan Handler. Now, will it make your retirement fund magically reappear when it debuts in May? No, but it will remind you why you should continue to never trust your bank.
Glee’s Groff gets indie
Who wouldn’t want Jonathan Groff’s career right now? Broadway’s Spring Awakening star became one of Glee’s battalion of young male heartthrobs and is now moving back into film (previously he had a hilarious turn as a mystical hippie concert promoter in the little-seen Taking Woodstock) with the indie drama Twelve Thirty. And in spite of a silly Newsweek opinion columns to the contrary which stated that openly gay actors cannot convincingly play it straight, the young actor is already earning praise in a heterosexual role as a man who wreaks havoc on an already troubled family. Also featuring Karen Young and Mamie Gummer (the one who looks just like her mom, Meryl Streep), the movie’s making festival rounds and will fill arthouses with that strange, dark, uncomfortable indie film glee later this year.
Far From Heaven inches closer to Broadway
The acclaimed, Oscar-nominated, Julianne Moore-starring Todd Haynes film Far From Heaven dealt with issues surrounding a housewife and her closeted gay husband in the 1950s and it did so in the guise of that era’s lush, weepy “women’s picture.” Now add music to that period of both graceful comfort and harsh repression and what do you have? That’s right, a Broadway musical waiting to happen. Tony Award winner Richard Greenberg, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie are collaborating on a musical stage version of the movie that is expected to open late in 2011. That’s good news for Broadway, which has seen a large number of shows close already this month; even better, subtly gay-themed shows are, in general, easier to sell to theater audiences than to moviegoers. For now there’s nothing else in the way of information, no cast or theater or dates, but stay tuned here for that. It’s coming. Meanwhile, hummable songs about divorce and “perversion” are on their way down the pipeline too.