Queer superheroes everywhere. Doom Patrol has its last major cast member in place. Matt Bomer — who makes an appearance this week at Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner — has been signed to play Negative Man, opposite Brendan Fraser’s Robotman, in the upcoming DC Comics live-action drama from Greg Berlanti about a group of X-Men-esque misfit superheroes. But in case you think this is some copycat action, understand that Doom Patrol has been around for more than 50 years, taking on oddball villains and going on bizarre adventures in comic book form. Once the show goes into full production, the final product will be part of the DC Universe digital platform. Meanwhile, coming to movie theaters is Academy Award nominee Rosie Perez as lesbian character Renee Montoya opposite Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey. Perez’s character is a detective who trades in her badge for a costumed identity as The Question and will be joined on screen by Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress. Have you guessed that this one is about an all-female world of heroes and villains? Well, it is, and it’s what happens when enough people buy tickets to Wonder Woman and money begins to talk. Look for it to land in theaters in early 2020.
Everything’s coming up Rosie…? Julie Chen is, of course, out at The Talk thanks to horrible husband troubles. But who’ll take over for her? It seems like every woman in Hollywood in need of work (aka most of them) is hungry for her shot, but it’s looking more and more — and possibly even a done deal by the time you read this — as though venerable daytime talk diva Rosie O’Donnell is primed to warm up that chair. She recently guested and that’s clearly an “audition” of sorts, and historically she’s a verifiable ratings boost because you never know what she’ll say or with whom she’ll enter a verbal showdown (and we love her for that), so this just looks like a win/win to us. Some of you may miss her ’90s “Queen of Nice,” but in these times of social and political strife, we’re looking for a Battle Lesbian who’ll come in, kick ass, and take names. That’s Rosie.
Janelle and Tessa will cute up Lady and the Tramp. Disney’s Lady and the Tramp remake is in production and this good news just made us bark for joy: Hidden Figures and Moonlight star Janelle Monáe will voice the role of Peg, the dog pound-bound friend of Lady, who is being played by Monae’s close friend Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok). Both women came out as queer fairly recently and oh, how we ship them so hard to be more than just friends, but we’ll settle for them being canine besties in Disney’s upcoming remake. Peg, as you may remember, is the dog who sang “He’s a Tramp,” and in the 1955 original she was the doggie incarnation of sultry-voiced singer Peggy Lee, so we’re excited to see what Monae does with the part. Meanwhile Justin Theroux is the voice of Tramp, and the supporting voice cast includes Thomas Mann, Kiersey Clemons, Benedict Wong, Ashley Jensen and Yvette Nicole Brown. Look for this one to help launch Disney’s home streaming service sometime near Christmas of 2019.
Project Runway forever? It seems like just moments ago that Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn jumped the Project Runway ship for their new unnamed Amazon fashion series. But Bravo has decided there’s still juice to be squeezed from the formerly very popular reality competition, and is going to re-launch the show (taking it back from its current network Lifetime) with model Karlie Kloss and Runway alum (as well as Season 4 winner) Christian Siriano as host and mentor, respectively. They’ll be joined by returning judge Nina Garcia, designer Brandon Maxwell and former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth. We will love it if this all goes well and the original magic can be rekindled with fresh blood, because we were big fans back in those early Siriano days. But if the recent non-starting American Idol reboot is any indication of audience demand, there may be cause for concern about who asked for this.
Sandra Bernhard will regularly strike a Pose. Nurse Judy is back from her break and she’s still not having any of your nonsense. Oh, wait, sorry, have you caught up on the first season of Pose yet? Not yet? Then drop what you’re doing and watch, because not only is it history-making, featuring the largest transgender series regular cast, as well as the largest LGBTQ cast ever for a scripted series, and not only is it coming back for a second season, but Season 1 guest star Sandra Bernhard — as the tough nurse whose lonely job is caring for a hospital wing’s worth of young gay men with AIDS — is coming back as a series regular. The amplification of this storyline on the show was inevitable, of course, as the series is set in the late 1980s when HIV/AIDS had already devastated a generation of queer people. And the casting is nearly perfect, since Bernhard has been a fixture – now legendary in her own right — of LGBTQ culture since that time. But as long as we’re being given the gift of Miss Bernhard, we’d also love to see Nurse Judy moonlighting as a cabaret singer in her off hours. Listen, honey, you don’t get if you don’t ask.
NBC takes on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Paul Feig, the man from Bridesmaids, is moving into musical television. He just sold a singing-dancing dramedy to NBC called Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Co-created by Austin Winsberg (Jake in Progress) and not to be confused with the film Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, the story concerns a young woman in her late 20s who is suddenly gifted with the ability to know the deepest desires of everyone around her. This is accomplished through music, somehow, and it sounds fairly delightful. Smash notwithstanding — and frankly, that show was kind of weirdly cool but never got its due — NBC is responsible for a lot when it comes to the introduction of music into primetime network TV, so this seems like the right home for a show like this. Now, what would be truly extraordinary is a great non-corny cast and some good money poured into production and lots of people spontaneously dancing in the streets. You’ll have appointment television then and an audience of queer people keeping it in business.
Heterosexuals to invade Broadway. Remember the 2000 film Almost Famous? Remember how it was full of charming straight dude rock star characters you could actually like? The kind who were laid back and nice to teenage band groupies and who led Elton John sing-alongs on buses? Well, you have Cameron Crowe to thank for that one, and if the forthcoming Broadway musical version of this film is successful it will be a testament to his powers. There’s no casting news yet, but the project — the story of young Crowe-like music journalist on tour with an up-and-coming rock band — will feature a book by Crowe based on his Academy Award-winning screenplay, music by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) with lyrics by Kitt and Crowe, and directed by Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things). We’re hopeful for this one, and not just because we’re looking forward to “Tiny Dancer” belted out by an ensemble cast. If the current political landscape has us soured on almost all heterosexual men, Crowe’s superpower is reminding us that they can be soulful and sensitive and as sexy as young Billy Crudup.
—Romeo San Vicente