John Cameron Mitchell joins Margaret Cho for ‘Ron.’
When “Will & Grace” star Leslie Jordan died, it left the fate of his latest project, “Ron.,” up in the air. Now the period piece — set in 1982 — has found a new lead actor in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” creator John Cameron Mitchell. He’ll play the title role, a gay man fired from his job who takes on babysitting duties for his 10-year-old niece and introduces her to punk rock and filmmaking. Written and directed by Ben Eisner, the film also co-stars “Boys in the Band” alum Robin de Jesús and legendary queer comic Margaret Cho, who has described the project as inspired by the various gay male babysitters she had while she grew up in San Francisco. Still in production (paused at the moment, of course, due to the SAG-AFTRA strike), look for this one to light up screens in the near-ish future.
‘Together 99’ revives a 23-year-old arthouse hit
Think back to the year 2000, subtitle-lovers, to the intelligent, boisterous, and sweetly heartfelt Swedish arthouse crowdpleaser, “Together.” A warm hug of a film, it was the story of a band of lefty 1970s holdouts — some straight, some queer — defiantly remaining committed to politically motivated communal living. And now filmmaker Lukas Moodysson — who also gave the world the teen lesbian romance “Show Me Love” — is returning to his band of outsiders with “Together 99.” Set 24 years later, in the year 1999, it finds the last original members of the community, now feeling somewhat lonely, organizing a reunion with their old friends and comrades. Set to win hearts all over again, the film opens this month in Sweden and will be distributed internationally later. And if you’ve never seen the original, go catch up. It’s a treat no matter your orientation.
Elegance Bratton to host ‘The Night Disco Died’
Elegance Bratton, the rising queer filmmaker responsible for the moving military drama “The Inspection,” is hard at work on the documentary feature “The Night Disco Died” (with “Cassandro” director Roger Ross Williams on board as executive producer) all about disco music’s popular decline and house music’s rise in the mid-’80s. If you’re old enough to remember July 12, 1979, when Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl organized an anti-disco stunt during a baseball game at Comiskey Park called “Disco Demoliton Night,” you’ll also know that the ensuing white straight fan frenzy on the field helped usher in a cultural moment that saw the dominance of disco music begin to wane. Bratton’s film, in production now, will draw together the musical elements that simmered underground after the backlash, as well as the queer Black and Latino cultural moments that gave fresh voice to new music in Chicago (the birthplace of House). No word on when we get to see this one but it’s exciting news about a historical moment that reverberates through speakers to this day.
‘Only Murders’ will kill again
Good news (and spoiler-free!) for fans of “Only Murders in the Building,” the Hulu mystery-comedy series starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez as amateur sleuths/podcasters who keep stumbling over dead bodies in their fancy NYC apartment building: It’s returning for a fourth season. The third season culprits (not telling) were discovered just in time for the last-minute set-up of a death (again, not telling) to be solved for the next round of episodes. Meanwhile, the queer elements of this show become more and more pronounced, not just with regard to probable suspects and their likely victims, but with supporting characters like the scene-stealing sweater-enthusiast-and-cat-man Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton) building niches for themselves as fan favorites. The writers can get back to work building a mystery, which we’ll probably see sometime in 2024, bloody fingers crossed.
Romeo San Vicente always wins when he plays “Clue.”