The big news is, of course, that “Dear Evan Hansen” star Ben Platt and “The Good Doctor” star Noah Galvin, friends for years, then a couple, have gotten engaged, so congratulations to them. But the two are also helping to create the new film “Theater Camp,” alongside fellow writers Molly Gordon (“Booksmart”) and music video director Nick Lieberman. Gordon and Lieberman will co-direct from the four-way script (their feature directorial debut) and alongside Emmy-nominated composer Mark Sonnenblick (“Spirited”) the gang of five will produce original music to be featured in the movie. It’s the story of a rundown theater camp in upstate New York (think back to the mid-2000s indie “Camp” that starred young Anna Kendrick) and how the eccentric staff has to figure out how to keep it going. If you hadn’t already guessed by now it also stars Gordon, Galvin and Platt among a cast that includes Amy Sedaris, Patti Harrison (“Together Together”), Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”) and Jimmy Tatro (“The King of Staten Island”). Theater kids, and you know who you are, keep an eye out for this labor of love coming sometime in 2023.
Jen Richards stirs up trouble in ‘Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches’
The late Anne Rice’s trilogy of novels, “Lives of the Mayfair Witches,” is coming to TV just in time to wish you a spooky new year. The series, “Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches,” centers on a neurosurgeon (“White Lotus” star Alexandra Daddario) who learns that she comes from a family of witches. As one might guess, this changes her life fairly drastically as sinister forces swirl around. Daddario will be joined by Tongayi Chirisa (Netflix’s “Another Life”), “Doom Patrol” star Hannah Alline, the great character actress Beth Grant (name a movie or series, she’s probably in it), Jack Huston, Harry Hamlin, and one of our favorite rising trans actors, Jen Richards (“Framing Agnes,” “MK Ultra”). Now, the novels go deep into some wildly taboo subjects, all of it framed by demonism and that signature Anne Rice gothic darkness. In other words, exactly the sort of entertainment we want to help shake off Christmas. It drops on AMC in January, so light a black candle and summon your coven for a viewing party.
‘Pose’ star Michaela Jaé Rodriguez is going to play a car in a movie
This just makes our whole day: the wonderful shining light of “Pose,” Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, is in the new “Transformers” movie. It’s called “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.” It’s the seventh of these absurd and monstrously loud films, and it’s about… well, we don’t know, other than the usual bit where giant robots become giant cars and they fight and people get crushed by them, which is always fun. (Don’t try to be cool and pretend you’re not into it.) Anyway, the great MJR will play a Terrorcon (we have no idea either) named Nightbird who transforms into a Nissan Skyline GT-R R33, a racy yet sensible machine. The rest of the cast? Anthony Ramos (“In The Heights”), Dominique Fishback (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Pete Davidson (“Bodies Bodies Bodies”), Ron Perlman, Michelle Yeoh, and Peter Dinklage. It lumbers into theaters next June, just in time for Pride. Trans representation makes the leap to big dumb blockbusters and we will be there for it, beaming like Nicole Kidman.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson is not the ‘Cocaine Bear’
He may usually have a beard but “Modern Family” alum Jesse Tyler Ferguson is not the bear we’re talking about this week now that the internet is abuzz with news of the upcoming dark comedy “Cocaine Bear,” a film that marks actor-director Elizabeth Banks’ next step as a filmmaker. Instead, it’s the true-ish story of a real bear that ingested a lot of smuggled cocaine and went on a rampage, poor thing. The bear in the film will be computer generated — it’s a little difficult to train a real bear to act like it’s eaten bricks of coke and then maul people to death on cue, and we’ve seen the trailer and he looks real, so no worries – but there will be plenty of human victims in his path, including Ferguson, Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Alden Ehrenreich, Margo Martindale and the late Ray Liotta. If you’re old enough to remember the pleasures of the late ’70s giant-bear-as-“Jaws” horror film, “Grizzly,” you’ll automatically understand the appeal of something like this, the revenge of nature we all deserve, giving you no Winnie the Pooh vibes in February 2023.
Romeo San Vicente loves all bears.