by Romeo San Vicente
Queen Latifah Rising
Pride Month may be over but we’re going to keep on celebrating Queen Latifah, who recently went public about her partner Eboni Nichols in a BET Awards speech. She may have been getting the Lifetime Achievement Award that night, but don’t let that fool you into thinking she’s done. As of this moment, Latifah has a handful of projects in various stages of completion. Coming soon is “The Tiger Rising,” a drama about a young boy and the caged tiger he finds in the woods, and “Hustle,” a LeBron James-produced basketball drama with Adam Sandler and Robert Duvall from “We the Animals” director Jeremiah Zagar. Meanwhile, currently shooting is “End of the Road.” It’s a thriller from “Black-ish” director Millicent Shelton, co-starring Ludacris, in which Latifah has to protect her family and fight a mysterious killer while on a road trip through the New Mexico desert. Obviously that killer doesn’t stand a chance, especially if he hasn’t seen QL use a machine gun in “Set It Off.” All hail the Queen!
‘SNL’ star Bowen Yang goes full queer for ‘Pride and Prejudice’
Anyone who’s been to the queer resort community of Fire Island knows that romantic fireworks go off at any time there. But the Jane Austen kind? That’s the “Pride and Prejudice” premise of “Fire Island,” the latest film from gay director Andrew Ahm (last year’s critically acclaimed family drama “Driveways”). The modern romantic comedy will star “Saturday Night Live” star Bowen Yang and comic Joel Kim Booster (who also wrote the screenplay) as a pair of best friends who travel to the island for a week-long summer holiday with an eclectic group of friends. And then the queer Austenisms (headstrong protagonist, an aloof suitor concealing his adoration, a smattering of drunken gay nonsense) blast off full force. Shooting this summer on location, Searchlight will release the film as a Hulu Original and on Star through Disney+ internationally. You’ll be able to stream it on that obligatory one rainy vacation day.
‘Knives Out 2’ sharpens up with Janelle Monáe
Whodunnits, those murder mysteries where everyone’s a suspect, have been given a resuscitating breath in recent years with remakes of the classic Agatha Christie stab-o-rama “Murder on the Orient Express” and the upcoming “Death on the Nile.” But the box-office success of Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” was truly the fresh shot in the arm the genre needed to bring younger audiences into the sleuthing fold. “Knives Out 2,” then, was inevitable and we’re thrilled to report at least one queer suspect, Janelle Monáe, has been added to the cast of many possible murderers. We don’t know her role at all and probably won’t until we see the film –Johnson likes to keep secrets on these things –but we do know that chief detective Daniel Craig will return to unmask a new killer from an ever-growing group of actors, including Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr., Kathryn Hahn, Edward Norton and Dave Bautista. The mystery will unfold sometime in 2022. Until then there are a lot of episodes of “Murder, She Wrote” to keep you company.
Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer make Christmas weird again
If you’ve had your fill of Hallmark, Lifetime and Netflix Christmas-themed rom-coms, you might be ready for a Clusterfünke. MTV has announced production on “A Clusterfünke Christmas,” executive produced, written by and co-starring “SNL” alum Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer. They’ll play the owners of, what else, an adorably Christmas-themed bed and breakfast called Clusterfünke Inn. The quaint small-town business attracts the attention of power real-estate exec Holly (Vella Lovell, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) who wants to buy it and destroy it for quick cash. But into the picture walks heterosexual hunk Frank (the not-at-all-heterosexual Cheyenne Jackson, “American Horror Story”) who will…turn this whole thing upside down? We hope? Listen, we trust Dratch and Gasteyer to surprise us and make this a Christmas parody miracle we’ll remember for all future holiday watch parties. The two have promised all the “Vancouver in July” charm we’ve grown accustomed to, so we’ll be checking it off our list this December.
Romeo San Vicente’s hot vax summer is well stocked with Otter Pops.