Ponyboi set for Sundance bow with Dylan O’Brien
The 2023 documentary Every Body, a welcome and necessary depiction of intersex people — a community within the queer world that gets very little attention — and the ways their lives are challenged by the medical establishment throughout history, featured a forthright and charismatic young filmmaker named River Gallo.
Now, Gallo’s short film project Ponyboi has been adapted as a narrative feature and is set to make its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Esteban Arango (Blast Beat) and written by Gallo, it’s the story of an intersex sex worker on the run from the mob and stars its creator alongside “Teen Wolf” star Dylan O’Brien, White Lotus star Murray Bartlett and Pose alum Indya Moore.
No word on larger distribution yet, but the supporting cast’s relatively high profile should make that an easy bet. And in the meantime, Every Body is available to watch on all the major platforms, so go catch up.
WNBA legend Sue Bird scores at Sundance
Women’s sports power couple Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe are about to be the toast of the Sundance Film Festival. Director Sarah Dowland’s documentary about Bird, Sue Bird: In The Clutch, hits the fest in January and explores the 21-year-long career of the basketball legend. In that time, she earned her place as the most successful point guard ever and won five Olympic gold medals along the way.
The non-fiction film follows Bird as she prepares to take a step into the great unknown of retirement from the sport (and, let’s be honest, lots of potentially amazing opportunities for her second act) hand in hand with the delightfully outspoken Rapinoe. We’ll be looking for this one to drop into queer film festivals and a certain theatrical/streaming distribution deal later in the year.
Queer ally Will Ferrell hits the road
Comedy writer Harper Steele was one of the people on Saturday Night Live you didn’t see. As staff writer for 13 years (head writer for four of them), they collaborated with rising star Will Ferrell, and after Ferrell’s departure from the series, the pair remained close friends. Now Ferrell and Steele’s project, Will & Harper, directed by Josh Greenbaum (Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar), is set to hit the Sundance Film Festival and tell a story of friendship and transgender visibility.
After Steele came out as a trans woman, the two decided to document a cross-country road trip and explore the bonds that exist and are strengthened between queer people and their close non-queer friends, especially among older friends who may have spent decades settling into comfortable ways of being with each other. Keep your eyes out for this one as it finds its way onto non-festival viewing platforms.
Cats is back, and it’s giving ballroom
Cats was the toast of the musical theater world in the early 1980s, winning awards and breaking box office records with a show that nobody had ever dreamed of. And then it ran and ran and ran, became beloved, became a joke, and ultimately became a flop of a movie that became its own joke and meme-factory. That’s quite a journey. But it’s not done yet. Cats is back for 2024, on stage where it began, in a bold new reimagined package.
Cats: The Jellicle Ball will take the bones of the original and amplify what queer audiences already got: the vogueing energy of it all. Choreographed by Arturo Lyons and Omari Wiles and directed by Zhailon Levingston and Bill Rauch, the new take is set in the Harlem ballroom scene of the 1980s and 90s and plans to give “immersive competition… club beats… and an edgy eleganza makeover that moves the action from junkyard to runway.” In other words, subtext has become text, and queerness has won. All you butch queens have about six months to get your lewk together for its New York run in June at the Perelman Arts Center.
Romeo San Vicente is on his 7th life.