story by Romeo San Vicente
Some queer Hallmark Christmas movies are coming. Ho ho ho.
For a long time we were comfortable allowing straight people to have Hallmark Christmas movies. It seemed weirdly their thing and it was fine because everyone knows those movies are … not good. But then came last year’s miniature right-wing firestorm about a lesbian couple in a commercial that aired one (shocking!) time on the Hallmark Channel, and suddenly every member of the LGBTQIA+ community stood up together and demanded to be the focus of a movie about someone who returns to their hometown bakery at Christmas and finds lukewarm romance. Now that collective wish is coming true, as Hallmark has announced some inclusion, in the form of queer characters and story lines, coming for the 2020 Christmas movie season. Crown Media spokesperson George Zaralidis has been quoted as saying that the company wants the films to be a place “where everyone feels welcome,” which is nice. And since the channel’s Christmas programming starts in October before the Halloween candy is consumed, you won’t have long to wait.
Look fashion forward to Halston with Ewan McGregor
True fans of the late Roy Halston already dug deep into Halston, last year’s documentary that wore his last name. And it seemed like 2020 was going to give us another helping, this time a narrative mini-series starring Ewan McGregor as the late designer whose name defined sophisticated ’70s glamour. You know the punchline of that grim joke already, as production shut down several months ago. But when it’s safe to do so, it’ll up and run again on the series that promises a deep dive in the pool of ’70s excess. McGregor is, of course, still in. Rory Culkin will play the late gay director Joel Schumacher. The project is scripted by Ian Brennan (Glee) and Sharr White (The Affair), directed by Daniel Minahan (True Blood), and fittingly, very queerly
executive produced by Christine Vachon and Ryan Murphy, among others. So all you have to do now is keep your look together until – well, OK, we have no idea until when, but the future is full of hope and yours to imagine. Have you even seen the documentary yet? Go watch the documentary. It’s great and Liza’s in it, so hurry up now.
CW casts a fresh lead for Batwoman: Javicia Leslie
Though she’s not yet a household name, you may remember Javicia Leslie as a regular on the two-season run of the very strange, Millennial-minded and ecumenically spiritual CBS drama God Friended Me. On that show she played a young lesbian bartender, and off camera Leslie is out, bisexual, and already has a new job: she’s Batwoman on the CW series of the same name. When actor Ruby Rose left Batwoman after one season, the assumption was that the show would simply recast the role; Batwoman’s normie name was Kate Kane and that seemed to be how things would stay locked in. But in a fascinating wrinkle, the series will be getting a new lead character named Ryan Wilder, played by Leslie. The character, according to the official casting call, will be “the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.” Now all that needs to happen is production starting up again, probably sometime in 2021, because more lesbian crime fighters dressed as bats are how we will keep coping.
Pedro Almodóvar and Tilda Swinton are shooting a movie now. Yes, now.
Undaunted and fully swaddled in protective gear, a new film is in production from prolific gay Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar and star Tilda Swinton. Nope, it’s not being shot via Zoom, but it is a one-person cast and, based on the publicity photo, Almodóvar might even be a one-person crew. The project is The Human Voice, a short feature based on the play of the same name from the legendary 20th-century queer French playwright and director Jean Cocteau. The action takes place in one act, involving the main character calling a former lover for the last time, as that person is due to marry another person the next day. The adaptation will update the action to the current century, but the psychological complexities will most certainly remain timeless. The project was due to begin earlier this year, but after some recalibrating of the logistics of how a film gets made in the middle of a global pandemic, director and star began shooting in Madrid last week.
Romeo San Vicente keeps in warm and gracious touch with all former lovers.