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Deep Inside Hollywood


Romeo San Vicente | February 06, 2006

Ellen DeGeneres Yep, Ellen's Returning to Sitcoms

Ellen DeGeneres has sitcoms in her blood, and The WB is banking on her daytime charms working again during primetime. The Emmy-winning actor/comedian is teaming with her brother, writer-producer Vance DeGeneres, to create an as-yet-untitled pilot script told from the perspective of both a family and its pets. Ellen, no stranger to voicing adorable animals after Finding Nemo, will provide the voice of the family dog. Of course, a network pilot commitment means little for real TV-watching humans and their pets; if it's not picked up to become a full-fledged series, then the public will never see it. But Ellen's Hollywood clout is at an all-time high these days, so chances are good she'll soon be barking up a storm.



Nicholas Ray, Interrupted

Veteran director Philip Kaufman is no stranger to adventurers. His films have explored the worlds of American astronauts (The Right Stuff) and literary sexual libertines (Henry and June, Quills). That's one reason the 69-year-old filmmaker is a good fit for I Was Interrupted, a film biography of the life of legendary Hollywood director Nicholas Ray. Ray is best remembered as the director of Rebel Without a Cause, Johnny Guitar, and In a Lonely Place. He was also a bisexual alcoholic who had love affairs with Natalie Wood and Wood's biographer, Gavin Lambert. The script, based on Ray's memoir of the same name and written by Oren Moverman (Jesus' Son), will focus on the 1970s, the last decade of Ray's life. The film should see screens sometime in 2007.



Thomas Bezucha The Family Stone Director's New Family

Thomas Bezucha's Hollywood stock keeps rising, which means that the gay director of the crowd-pleasing comedies Big Eden and The Family Stone is already hard at work on his next film. Based on a pitch Bezucha made to Fox, his latest is a comedy/drama about a 30-something widow's painful adjustment to life as the single mother of a 12-year-old son. When a new man does enter the picture, a difficult emotional triangle develops. Much like his first two efforts, the movie – currently known as Untitled Thomas Bezucha Project – will be written and directed by Bezucha and produced by Stone's Michael London. And when it finally gets a cast and title to call its own, Romeo will be at the ready to share.



Zak Spears Forgiving Zak Spears

There's a small club of adult film stars who've crossed over into mainstream acting roles, with Tracy Lords being the most successful. Now it might be Zak Spears' turn. A gay porn icon, Spears appeared briefly in Gregg Araki's 1995 feature The Doom Generation. But it's his latest acting role that will have audiences talking. Spears (featured under what Romeo presumes to be his given name. Khris Scaramanga) can soon be seen in Forgiving the Franklins, a black comedy recently screened at the Sundance Film Festival about a born-again Christian family involved in an auto accident. They die, meet Jesus – who removes their original sin – and return to life as innocents devoted to their own pleasure. Spears/Scaramanga plays the high-school football coach who becomes sexually involved with the Franklins' 18-year-old gay son, with shocking consequences. Look for the indie comedy at queer film festivals soon.

  • Romeo San Vicente has seen Zak Spears naked.


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