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Deep Inside Hollywood

Zachary Quinto’s giving you The Chair

Celebrity Gossip by Romeo San Vicente (From May 2014 Online)
Zachary Quinto
Zachary Quinto

The director’s chair, that is. The actor’s production company, Before The Door Pictures, is partnering with producer Chris Moore (Project Greenlight) for their first venture into reality competition programming. The Chair, already set to debut on the Starz networkd this fall, will follow two first-time filmmakers as they bring their movie to the big screen, shepherded by film industry mentors, including Quinto. The catch: Both directors will be working from an identical script, identical budgets and will shoot their version in the same general location. That script is a youth-oriented Thanksgiving comedy currently known as How Soon Is Now? (thanks, The Smiths) and the 10-episode series will follow the shoots, as well as the marketing and theatrical release of both versions (they’ll also be broadcast on Starz). The winner will be selected by audience vote. One question: What if both versions are equally terrible? Do they just hand the prize over to The Room’s Tommy Wiseau?

Dietrich, Garbo and ...

Here’s a name you might not know: Megan Ellison. You might not know her name because she moves behind the scenes, but she’s doing some of the best work in Hollywood right now. As the head of Annapurna, the hot-shot young lesbian movie mogul produces some of the most daring and original work coming from the mainstream film industry, acclaimed films like Spike Jonze’s Her and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, titles that other executives probably turned down as they sat scratching their heads wondering why there weren’t any space aliens in the script. Here’s a lesbian name you might know if you’ve been paying attention: Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S., True Blood). She and collaborator Alex Kondracke (Hung, The L Word) are teaming up with Annapurna for the company’s first TV project, an as-yet-untitled film about the Golden Age of Hollywood. Specifically focusing on the lives of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, the period piece will explore the relationship between the two and their intersections with people like Tallulah Bankhead, Barbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant and John Wayne.  The casting for this one is going to get very interesting; more as it develops.

Why is Undateable John so undateable?

John (John Philbin, Point Break) is a middle-aged surfer/slacker (see: Point Break) who’s on and off the wagon. Then he falls for a beautiful woman in his AA meeting and that’s presumably where we find out why he’s undateable. The new feature comedy from writer Cynthia Posner and director Demian Lichtenstein includes a list of possible reasons right in its cast, since John’s co-stars are Meredith Baxter, Margaret Cho and Joan Jett. Of course, Estella Warren, Daryl Hannah and Shannon Doherty are in there too, so maybe his luck improves with the latter additions to the dating pool. Not that any of this matters to what is certainly the film’s target demographic of lesbians and ... oh all right, more lesbians (hope the marketing team is on that one already). The movie’s wrapped and in post-production at the moment, so expect this indie to wind up in film festivals soon enough. And maybe on an Olivia cruise movie night.

Hollywood thinks you should be Younger

Darren Star (Sex and the City) has a new show in the works and it stars four women. Sound familiar? Well, it’s not. Not exactly, anyway. TV Land is partnering with Star for the already-picked-up Younger. Starring Broadway baby Sutton Foster (she won a Tony Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie), Extra Virgin’s Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor (Hedwig and The Angry Inch) and Hilary Duff, the sitcom will follow the misadventures of jobless, 40-year-old single mother Foster, whose desire to get back into the working world is stymied by her age. Until she decides to pretend she’s 26, that is. Thanks to a youth-oriented makeover, she lands a job, hangs out with twentysomething Duff for pointers and, it can be assumed, starts dating hot college guys. We love Foster for her work on the unjustly cancelled Bunheads, so maybe this project will give her a chance to shine on TV again. And if not, there’s always the possibility that she could pretend to be 18 for the Spring Awakening movie.


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