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Deep Inside Hollywood

Romeo San Vicente | September 05, 2005

Val Kilmer Val Kilmer's Rough, Tough, Gay Detective

He stirs up controversy as much for his off-screen life as for his roles, and now Val Kilmer is stirring it up again as a gay detective who doesn't shrink from a fight in Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang. The action comedy is the first intentionally funny movie starring Kilmer since his turn in 1985's Real Genius (The Island of Dr. Moreau doesn't count), and the first directing job for screenwriter Shane Black, who penned the Lethal Weapon franchise. Kiss co-stars Robert Downey Jr. as a struggling actor who assists Kilmer's tough-as-nails, openly gay private eye in solving a murder case. Hopefully the comedy will take a fresh approach to its gay lead character, but Romeo will still be on the lookout for Lethal Weapon–style sophomoric gay jokes. Screening at this month's Toronto Film Festival, the film is due to open wide early this fall.

Angelina Jolie Jolie Is Hungry Like the Beowulf

Angelina Jolie is mother to a monster. No, not her son Maddox. Think Grendel, the evil creature from the 8th-century literary classic Beowulf. Jolie has signed on to play the wicked temptress mother to Crispin Glover's Grendel in the big-budget, Robert Zemeckis-directed epic –Beowulf. Starring Ray Winstone (–) as the heroic viking warrior who battles the monster, the film shoots this fall for a summer 2007 release and will co-star Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, and Robin Wright Penn. Meanwhile, Zemeckis is also producer of the upcoming film, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, from lesbian director Jane Anderson, based on the nonfiction book by lesbian writer Terry Ryan.

Paul Greengrass Universal's Flight Plan

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, movie studios were reluctant to rush in to capitalize on the events. Now Universal will be the first studio to take on 9/11 with Flight 93, a big-screen imagining of what might have happened on the now-legendary plane that crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Romeo recently reported on a docudrama special, The Flight That Fought Back, to air on the Discovery Channel this Sept. 11, about Flight 93, on which it's believed that the passengers, including gay businessman Mark Bingham, fought back against the plane's highjackers. Universal's project is in pre-production with an Oct. 1 start date and a probable 2006 release. No cast has been announced yet, but director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy) is attached to direct.

Stephen Fry Branagh and Fry Make Magic

The movie stars are behind the camera this time in a new screen adaptation of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. Kenneth Branagh and gay actor-writer Stephen Fry, longtime collaborators, co-wrote the adaptation of the operatic fantasy, the story of a prince and a bird-seller who must rescue a princess, which is one of Mozart's final pieces of work. Branagh will direct the feature, and shooting begins in January 2006. The director has reached into the opera world for his leads: Joseph Kaiser, a member of Chicago's Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, will play Prince Tamino, and Ben Davis, who performed on Broadway in Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme and in Thoroughly Modern Millie, will be the bird-peddling sidekick Papageno. Fans of opera on film will feel the magic sometime in 2007.

  • Romeo San Vicente makes magic wherever he goes.

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