Deep Inside Hollywood: Janet Mock

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Janet Mock wearing a maroon dress at a glaad event
Janet Mock photo by KathClick

All together now with Gabrielle Union, Janet Mock, and Jeremy Pope

In six appearances on the final season of Pose, queer actor Jeremy Pope left a lasting impression as Blanca’s (Mj Rodriguez) doctor fiancé, Christopher. And there’s more of him on the way. Pope has two high-profile projects in the works with two ballroom-adjacent directors: Elegance Bratton (Viceland’s My House and the documentary Pier Kids) and Pose-alum Janet Mock.

First up, Pope will star in Bratton’s first narrative feature, The Inspection” for A24, about a young gay man who joins the Marines. it is based on Bratton’s own life experience and the mother (Gabrielle Union) whose approval he’s determined to win. Meanwhile, in Janet Mock’s debut feature, Scandalous! Pope will play the legendary Sammy Davis Jr. in a story of his, well, scandalous-at-the-time affair with Vertigo star Kim Novak. As of this moment, there’s still no Novak cast, but stay tuned.

Issa Rae and Jaboukie Young-White Form an all-queer Gang

Issa Rae 2017 smiling and wearing a low cut silver dress
Issa Rae 2017

The Gang’s All Queer sounds like it might be an overtly gay remake of the already pretty gay classic 1943 musical The Gang’s All Here, but it’s not. Based on the non-fiction book of the same name by criminologist Vanessa R. Panfil, which was an academic study of gay gang members, the latest project from gay comedy writer and correspondent for The Daily Show, Jaboukie Young-White, will adapt the book for a series he will also executive produce alongside Insecure creator Issa Rae.

The story will follow a closeted 20-something in Chicago who drops out of college after the gang-related death of a friend and who then looks for closure in a most dangerous way. No cast or start date yet, so it’ll probably hit HBO sometime in 2022. Meanwhile, comedy writers seem to have a knack for accessing the bleaker side of human experience, so this feels like a good fit for two accomplished comic creators, and when it does finally arrive, we’ll be watching it as hungrily as we did Mare of Easttown.

Jameela Jamil is a Marvel

Jameela Jamil smiling
Jameela Jamil at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con

Jameela Jamil won viewer’s hearts on The Good Place, and the queer actress has proven to be a charming, warm host of the ballroom competition series Legendary. So it was time she got to stretch her villain’s muscles, and she’ll get that shot on Marvel’s She-Hulk TV series for Disney+.

Jamil will play the wicked Titania opposite Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany as the titular She-Hulk. For those not in the loop of Hulk Family Origins, Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo, reprising his role from the films) cousin Jennifer gets a blood transfusion from Banner, and boom—now she’s big and green and angry when life goes sideways. The character of Titania is super tall and super strong. Strong enough, apparently, to make life difficult for She-Hulk. Also joining the new series will be Tim Roth as the villainous character The Abomination, as well as Ginger Gonzaga (The Morning After) and Renee Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton). The series, led by writer Jessica Gao (Rick and Morty), is among a seemingly countless number of Marvel-based projects dropping on Disney+ in the next few years, and it should arrive to sate your comic bookish appetites sometime in 2022.

Todd Haynes and Julianne Moore strike again. This time with Natalie Portman

When queer director Todd Haynes works with Julianne Moore, special things happen. Together they’ve delivered acclaimed films like Safe, Far from Heaven, and I’m Not There. Now it’s time for another. Haynes will direct Moore in May December, from a script by Samy Burch and story by Burch and Alex Mechanik, in which Moore plays an older woman who embarked on a tabloid romance with a man 23 years her junior.

Natalie Portman standing in front of a 2019 San Diego Comic-Con stepper
Natalie Portman at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con

Twenty years pass, and as the twins produced by their marriage graduate high school and a film about their headline-making story goes into production, a younger actress—played by Natalie Portman—arrives to research Moore’s character, setting off a chain of family-fraying feelings. Full casting hasn’t happened just yet, and this one won’t begin production until early 2022, so you can always watch Haynes’ Carol again for the dozenth time while you wait. We will.

Romeo San Vicente used to be the hot young May. Now he’s the hot older December.