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Deep Inside Hollywood

Romeo San Vicente | June 27, 2007

Mischa Barton Loves t.A.T.u.

Remember t.A.T.u. – that catchy Russian girl group where the two singers dressed like schoolgirls and made out? And then they wound up being fake lesbians who exploited the girl-on-girl thing just for publicity? And then they disappeared? Get ready for the t.A.T.u. revival, as O.C. star Mischa Barton will star in Finding t.A.T.u., a drama about a young American woman in Russia who bonds with a female local over their mutual love of the musical duo. The book on which the film is based features a lesbian affair between the two lead characters, but director Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields, Captivity) is keeping mum over whether or not Mischa will get her lady-lovin' on in the movie version. Perhaps more nuggets will surface when shooting begins this month.

Jackie Chan's Gay Mobster Swings American

The recent Oscar win for The Departed has made U.S. remakes of Hong Kong movies a hot commodity, so it's probably no surprise that producer Andrew Tennenbaum (the Bourne trilogy) is set to make an American version of the Jackie Chan-produced Enter the Phoenix. The Hong Kong action-comedy has a plot ripe with comedic potential: A powerful mobster dies, and his son is expected to take over as head of the mob. But his son is flamboyantly gay and has no interest in the position, so his boyfriend takes over in his place, all the while keeping both men's sexual orientation a secret. Perhaps we'll see some stunt-casting involving the actor who played gay Mafioso Vito on The Sopranos? Phoenix is set to make us an offer we can't refuse in 2009.

Spacey Brings Almodovar to the Stage

Many of Pedro Almodovar's screenplays feature meaty dialogue, soaring melodrama, and great roles for actresses of a certain age, so why not adapt them for the stage? Actor Kevin Spacey – wearing his hat as artistic director of London's Old Vic Theatre – has commissioned an English-language play based on Almodovar´┐Żs Oscar-winning All About My Mother. The film tells the story of Manuela, a nurse who witnesses the death of her beloved teenage son and then sets out to find his father, now a drug-addicted transgendered woman named Lola. Playwright Samuel Adamson is working on the adaptation, and Mike Leigh regular Lesley Manville (Topsy-Turvy, Vera Drake) seems close to being cast as Manuela, but Almodovar has final say on script and casting. The curtain rises August 24 in London.

Van Sant Visits Paranoid Park

Gay filmmaker Gus Van Sant has focused some of his most interesting films on disaffected youth, from the troubled street hustlers of My Own Private Idaho to the gun-toting suburbanites of Elephant. With his latest, Paranoid Park, he delves into skate culture, with a look at a skateboarder (newcomer Gabe Nevins) whose life unravels after he's involved in the accidental killing of a security guard. The film comes to the U.S. with an impressive pedigree – the jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival gave it a special award marking the festival's 60th anniversary. (Van Sant is a favorite son at Cannes, having previously snagged the Palme d'Or for Elephant.) IFC Films will skate Paranoid Park into theaters before the end of the year.

  • Romeo San Vicente does not skateboard; he will, however, roller-boogie to the "Xanadu" soundtrack all night long.

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