Deep Inside QUEER Hollywood

By Romeo San Vicente

Photos: Mitch Zachary (Julio Torres), Shane Mahood (Aubrey Plaza)

Janelle Monáe joins cast of new Pharrell Williams-produced musical

The film doesn’t have a title yet but it already has plenty of heat. It’s a musical from musician-producer Pharrell Williams, written by Martin Hynes (“Toy Story 4”) and Steven Levenson (Tony Award-winner for “Dear Evan Hansen”), to be directed by acclaimed French filmmaker Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), and starring Kelvin Harrison Jr. (“Elvis”), Academy Award winner Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“The Holdovers”), Halle Bailey (“The Color Purple”), Brian Tyree Henry (Oscar-nominated for “Causeway”), hip-hop legend Missy Elliott and the recently-added Janelle Monae (“Glass Onion”). It’s a coming-of-age musical inspired by Williams’ childhood, set in Virginia Beach in 1977. And that’s all the information we have right now because it’s still in development. But come on, that’s enough to know we want it to take our ticket money right now. More on this one as it develops.

Are you ready for Aubrey Plaza’s ‘Old Ass’?

When you were an 18-year-old babyqueer, did you celebrate turning voting age by tripping on mushrooms and then meeting your future self and resisting their advice? No? That’s because you weren’t the main character in “My Old Ass,” an upcoming coming-of-age fantasy from writer-director Megan Park (the bi-themed film “The Fallout”). The indie feature stars Canadian singer Maisy Stella (“Nashville”) as the teenager on the make for a summer of fun and girl-crushes, and “White Lotus” star Aubrey Plaza as her 39-year-old future self (reminder: teenagers think anyone over 23 is old). Plaza’s character arrives with a warning about an as-yet-unknown young man named “Chad.” And then Chad shows up, making everything difficult. “My Old Ass,” meanwhile, makes the queer film festival circuit brighter this summer before hitting theaters, so when it comes around take a queer elder to the movies in gratitude.

Summer horror gets ‘Cuckoo’ with Hunter Schafer

LOS ANGELES – JAN 06: Hunter Schafer arrives for the Film Independent Spirit Awards 2020 on February 08, 2020 in Santa Monica, CA

Trans actress and model Hunter Schafer, one of the breakout stars of HBO’s intense teen drama “Euphoria,” is set to shock your summer with the horror film “Cuckoo.” The dark, chaotic thriller from German filmmaker Tilman Singer (2018’s “Luz”) premiered at the Berlin Film Festival to largely positive reviews and found itself picked up for U.S. distribution by cooler-than-cool Neon. It stars Schafer alongside “Downton Abbey” alum Dan Stevens (“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire”) and Jessica Henwick (“Glass Onion”) in a freaky pregnancy-themed story set in an Alpine resort. We’re told there’s a touch of lesbian romance and more than a touch of absolute madness, thanks to Stevens as the psychotic villain delivering an unhinged performance. It’ll land in theaters mid-August, which not only makes it a trending horror theme of 2024 (see also: “Immaculate,” “The First Omen”) but also possibly the perfect way to wrap up goth-bikini season (we do not know if goth bikinis exist, but we think they should).

Julio Torres’ ‘Fantasmas’ is celebrating Surrealist Pride

We’ve gone over this before but it bears repeating: watch the TV series “Los Espookys” and this year’s indie film “Problemista” from our favorite gay weirdo Julio Torres, because when you’re finished with those delicious cultural products you’ll be ready for his new HBO/Max comedy miniseries “Fantasmas” to liven up your Pride month. The six-episode series stars its creator as a fictionalized version of himself on a New York City dreamquest for a lost earring. Along the way he’ll encounter questions related to the nature of existence and reality, as well as unusual characters who may help or hinder his journey. The supporting cast has been impeccably selected, with people like Steve Buscemi, Ziwe, Kim Petras, and “Uncut Gems” star Julia Fox showing up to be strange with Torres. It drops sometime in June (no specific date given just yet), the right month to be unusually queer.

Romeo San Vicente is an uncut gem.

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