Deep Inside Hollywood: Jennifer Lopez

292
Jennifer Lopez wearing an off the shoulder gown and her hair is up in a bun.
Jennifer Lopez arrives for the PSIFF Awards Gala 2020

Jennifer Lopez to star in Kiss of the Spider Woman

Jennifer Lopez will star in the new musical feature film Kiss of the Spider Woman from gay director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Beauty and the Beast) in what is the next step in a long journey from its original incarnation as a novel. Manuel Puig’s book was turned into an Academy Award-winning 1985 film starring Raul Julia and William Hurt (who won the Oscar for Best Actor), and then a 1992 Tony Award-winning musical with songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb. This new film will take its cues from that production, and Lopez will play Aurora, originated on stage by Chita Rivera. For those of you just joining the property’s ongoing life, it’s the complex story of two cellmates in a Brazilian prison, one hetero and one queer, and the latter’s attempts to soothe his straight mate with narrated plotlines from a favorite romantic movie.

No other cast — including the two lead characters — has been announced, but with a planned spring start in front of the cameras, that should happen quickly enough. Begin your fantasy roster picks!

Abbi Jacobson moves into No Good Deed

There was a particular kind of cruel media injustice visited on the wonderful TV adaptation of A League of Their Own, starring Broad City creator Abbi Jacobson. Canceled abruptly, mid-narrative, thanks to wicked corporate decisions, we’ll miss it and are still angry about it. But we’re happy to announce that the queer star has landed in a new comedy from lesbian creator Liz Feldman (Dead to Me) called No Good Deed. Starring Ray Romano, Lisa Kudrow, Linda Cardellini, Luke Wilson, and Teyonah Parris, the eight-episode comedy centers on the terrifying world of real estate and the exquisite torture of buying a home as various people look to buy the same property.

Among them is Jacobson’s character, who’s looking to buy the house for herself and her wife (Poppy Liu, Hacks). Everyone has motives, secrets, dreams, and money trouble (because it’s about buying a home in prohibitively expensive Los Angeles, for starters), and as we all know, anxiety is the basis of good comedy. Flip from HGTV to Netflix when this one drops sometime in 2024.

One to watch: Sherry Cola in You’re Dating a Narcissist!

Up-and-coming bisexual actor Sherry Cola left her comic imprint all over the 2023 films Joy Ride and Shortcomings (both streaming now, go enjoy them) and is poised to become a name your household knows when she teams up with Marisa Tomei in the rom-com You’re Dating a Narcissist! alongside Ciara Bravo (Cherry). Tomei will play a psychologist on a road trip to visit her daughter (Bravo) in order to talk her out of marrying a man she thinks is toxic. Also known as parental meddling. The therapist’s best pal (Cola) is along for the ride, and who knows what else.

It’s from the writing team of Ann Marie Allison and Jenna Milly (both of whom worked on the funny indie feature Golden Arm) and Allison’s directorial debut. No word yet on when to expect this one — we’ll be scouting film festival schedules when the time comes — but we’re thrilled to see Sherry Cola’s career trajectory aiming up to new queer heights.

For the love of Luther Vandross

The great Luther Vandross died at age 54, after a solid career building a pop/R&B body of work that will stand the test of time. But while that career flourished over decades, his personal life was complicated in a time when coming out was considered too risky in the music business, a point confirmed by his friend Patti Labelle in a 2017 Watch What Happens Live segment. Now a documentary film from producer Jamie Foxx and director Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Good Trouble) titled Luther: Never Too Much will take its bow at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival and explore the life and legacy of the beloved singer.

Using archival material, Vandross will tell his own story alongside those who knew him: Mariah Carey, Dionne Warwick, Nile Rodgers, and Roberta Flack. It’s a story of difficult love, career triumphs, and, ultimately, health problems that took him from the world far too soon. This one’s going to be an emotional ride, and it’s already jumped into our must-see top spot for 2024.

Romeo San Vicente wants you to hear Luther Vandross sing “A House is Not a Home.”