The latest project starring Jim Parsons, “Spoiler Alert,” has been in development for over three years now, which by Hollywood standards isn’t all that long, but the longer these things linger, it’s often the case that they become less likely to ever see the light of day. So it’s excellent news that more cast members have just been added to the project. The Michael Showalter drama is based on Michael Ausiello’s memoir about being a caretaker for his terminally ill partner, photographer Kit Cowan, who already had Parsons, Ben Aldridge, and Sally Field in place. But now more names have signed on, including Tony Award winner Nikki M. James (“The Book of Mormon”), Jeffery Self (“Search Party”), Bill Irwin (“Rachel Getting Married”), and “Queer Eye” food guy Antoni Porowski. The addition of an extra cast is welcome because it means cameras roll soon – we hope – and the addition of Porowski is particularly nice news because if craft services don’t show up he can make snacks for the crew.
The last time we told you about the Diana Nyad biopic in the works, Annette Bening was cast as the legendary lesbian long-distance swimmer (she made it from Florida to Cuba) and that was everything we knew. We also thought it was everything we needed to know. And then along came Jodie Foster, another legendary lesbian, who’s just been cast as Bonnie Stoll, Nyad’s coach, and longtime friend. And in case this project is fresh news for you, it’s called “Nyad,” it’s based on Nyad’s book, “Find a Way,” it’s adapted by Ann Biderman (“Ray Donovan”) and Julia Cox, and it’ll be directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (“Free Solo”), making their narrative feature debut. Here’s hoping that the addition of Foster signals more forward momentum on this long-gestating project, because we need it in front of our eyes sooner, not later. And the thought of these two titans on screen together makes us so excited we might just try to swim from Miami to Cuba ourselves.
You may recall hearing about the “Ammons Haunting” of 2011, in which an Indiana family allegedly tormented by demons consulted a priest to perform exorcisms. The story made news because official entities like the Department of Child Services, the police, and various healthcare workers apparently were witnesses. And now, after a major bidding war, Lee Daniels is planning to bring the as-yet-untitled film version of the sensational story to Netflix. The cast is already set: Academy Award nominee Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) will star alongside Octavia Spencer, Glenn Close, Rob Morgan, Caleb McLaughlin, and Aunjanue Ellis. Production is set for mid-2022, and expect some freaky special effects, as the story involves, Linda Blair-style, kids levitating and walking back up the walls. Say what you want about Satan being evil, but he’s mostly a stunt queen.[Text Wrapping Break]
Ivory Aquino has been cast in the HBO Max feature film “Batgirl” as Alysia Yeoh. In the DC comic book series, Yeoh is Barbara Gordon/Batgirl’s best friend, and she is also transgender. Aquino, too, is trans, and that means the actress – who previously co-starred in “Tales of the City” and “When We Rise” – will make history as the first trans character in a DC Comics movie. Now, those of you paying attention will note that there’s been a DC Universe trans character on the CW series “Supergirl” (played by Nicole Maines), and that welcome first step has led to this exciting follow through with the DC film world. And of course, the news broke first on Instagram. “Batgirl” star Leslie Grace (“In the Heights”) recently dropped the hint about the casting on her account, and it was just confirmed officially. As for the rest of the cast, “Batgirl” will feature J.K. Simmons and Brendan Fraser, as well as Michael Keaton as, yes, Batman. It all comes back around.