You can’t stop Billy Porter’s drive to do everything he sets his mind to. The “Pose” star and collaborator Dan McCabe (“Fruits of Thy Labor”) are going to adapt David Leeming’s book “James Baldwin: A Biography” as the basis for a James Baldwin biopic with Porter set to star. For newcomers, Baldwin was a gay Black writer and civil rights activist whose novels, plays and essays are essential texts of 20th-century Black American life, and is a particular hero of Porter’s. This is all in the early stages, but the time couldn’t be more appropriate for a film about his life. Renewed interest in his work — and renewed bans by right-wing racists — after Raoul Peck’s brilliant, incendiary documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” and Barry Jenkins’s beautiful adaptation of the novel “If Beale Street Could Talk” means it’s always a good time to bring Baldwin into the cultural conversation. More on this project as it develops.
Kristen Stewart is taking it on the road to ‘Sacramento’
Kristen Stewart is at the point in her career when doing anything she wants is what she wants, and what she wants right now isn’t another prestige drama like “Spencer” (even though she was great and you know she was great). Instead, she’s signed on for a low-key road-trip comedy called “Sacramento.” To be directed by Michael Angarano (“This Is Us”) and co-written by Angarano and actor Chris Smith (“Young & Hungry”), the film follows two long-time friends — Angarano and Michael Cera — who are both married and settling into domestic life, but still decided to take a spontaneous road trip from Los Angeles to Sacramento. Stewart plays Cera’s wife, while Maya Erskine (“Pen15”) co-stars as Angarano’s wife. And even though that’s all we know of the plot, it seems highly unlikely that these women will be sidelined as characters. We just trust. Production begins this spring. Look for it down the road.
Hari Nef is about to do some ‘Bad Things’
We’ve gone on record about our enjoyment of Hari Nef’s ability to make whatever project she’s in stop and take notice of her (and don’t get us started about our excitement over the trans actress’s upcoming role as one of the endless stream of Barbies in “Barbie”). So we’re more than a little enthusiastic about her next film, “Bad Things.” It’s a thriller with an ensemble cast, about a group of women on a weekend getaway to a place where they commit some genuinely wicked acts. Directed and written by Stewart Thorndike — whose earlier film “Lyle” was described as a “lesbian ‘Rosemary’s Baby’” – it stars Gayle Rankin (“Glow Men”), Annabelle Dexter-Jones (“Succession”), queer artist Rad Pereira (“Betty”) and the “Breakfast Club” legend herself, Molly Ringwald. Shooting’s already wrapped and, after premiering at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival, will drop on horror streaming service Shudder on August 25. Sounds like the perfect end-of-summer rager.
The Muppets Meet Lil Nas X (and dozens of other stars)
Let’s just call the Muppets canonically queer because of “Rainbow Connection.” But even if they weren’t, we’d still be clearing our viewing schedule for May 10. That’s when Disney+ drops “The Muppets Mayhem,” a new series starring everyone’s favorite puppet rock band, Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, alongside humans Lilly Singh (“A Little Late with Lilly Singh”) and Tahj Mowry (“Baby Daddy”). There is an unmanageably long list of guest stars who’ll be joining the band as they spend the series working toward recording their very first album, but we’ll stick to the real-life musicians in the mix: queer icon Lil Nas X will show up, as will Chris Stapleton, Weird Al Yankovic, Ziggy Marley, Kesha, Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles, deadmau5, Billy Corgan, Steve Aoki, Tommy Lee and the one and only Paula Abdul. For more queer cred, “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown will also guest star, though he’s not a musician. Go check out the rest of the list online; you’ll see just how overstuffed it is, and you’ll like it like that.
Romeo San Vicente thinks he’s Sweetums but probably acts more like Miss Piggy.