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Deep Inside Hollywood


Romeo San Vicente | April 19, 2005

Gus Van Sant Gus Van Sant's Time Machine

Gus Van Sant's film about the early '90s grunge scene, Last Days, is due to open in the United States this October, and the pioneering queer filmmaker is already at work on his next project. Van Sant is currently in negotiations to direct the film adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger's novel The Time Traveler's Wife. The story, a loose retelling of The Odyssey, concerns a man with a genetic gift that allows him to travel in time, appearing to his wife at different moments in her life. With a script adapted by Jeremy Leven (The Notebook), the film was originally set up at New Line Cinema in 2003, with Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt on board to produce the feature. Whether or not the divorcing couple will remain involved with the project is a mystery on a par with, well, time travel.



Edward Norton Edward Norton Tries on Painted Veil

Edward Norton, whose movie Kingdom of Heaven opens next month, will slip into another era when he stars in a new film version of The Painted Veil. The 1925 novel by W. Somerset Maugham – whose homosexuality was kept hidden for most of his life – has been resurrected by gay screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia, Soldier's Girl) and director John Curran (We Don't Live Here Anymore); it was first adapted for the screen in 1934 and starred Greta Garbo. Set in China, Veil is the story of a woman who is dissatisfied with her marriage to a doctor and embarks on an affair. Norton will take the role of the husband, originally played by Herbert Marshall. Naomi Watts was in negotiations to star, but no female lead has yet been cast. Production begins this year for a projected 2006 release date.



Preparing Breakfast with Tiffany

This time around, there's no swanky jewelry store, no Audrey Hepburn, and no Givenchy dresses, but Breakfast with Tiffany is coming soon to a bookstore – and very possibly a multiplex screen – near you. Not to be confused with the classic 1961 movie, the similarly titled memoir by Edwin John Wintle is about a successful 40-year-old gay literary agent in Manhattan whose life is upended when he becomes the guardian of his troubled 13-year-old niece, Tiffany. Wintle comically documents his first year of parenthood and Tiffany's adjustment to a new school and a new "dad." The book appears in June from Miramax Books, and Hart Sharp Entertainment has picked up the film rights, which means the movie version is a definite "maybe."



Michael Soldier Precious Moments with Trannyshack

What's a Trannyshack? Well, it's first and foremost a weekly San Francisco drag/performance art club where traditional ideas of female impersonation are upended and stretched to the point of insanity. Think an even weirder, punk-rock version of New York's Wigstock, and you'll be in the ballpark. And much like its oddball East Coast cousin – documented in 1995 with Wigstock: The Movie – the experience that is Trannyshack is on its way to big screens. In production right now from producer Deena Davenport and director Sean Mullens, a documentary with the working title Trannyshack: The Movie will feature club founder Heklina and performers like gay porn star Michael Soldier, whose drag creation, Precious Moments, is a Trannyshack staple. Look for the gender-bending doc to blast its way into queer film festivals this summer.
  • Romeo San Vicente never met a drag queen he didn't like.


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