John Travolta and Katherine Heigl sing a love song
Follow along because the queer hook here is that it’s a musical, and we as a people tend to enjoy those. Nick Vallelonga, Oscar-winning screenwriter and producer of Green Book, has another film coming, That’s Amore!, a musical loosely based on the beloved 1955 Ernest Borgnine-starring Marty. It’ll star lifelong musical vet John Travolta alongside Katherine Heigl (our favorite vaping villain from the good-bad 2017 thriller Unforgettable) as a pair who think their chances at love have passed them by, only to discover they might be right for each other.
It co-stars Christopher Walken, Rocky legend Talia Shire, William Fichtner, D.B. Sweeney, and Sopranos alum Drea de Matteo. They’ve also recorded some songs, but that’s everything we know right now. Good omen: Mr. Travolta has proven he knows his way around a song-and-dance routine. Less good omen: Heigl’s character’s name is Patty Amore. OK, that’s actually hilarious. But we’re… excited anyway? Right?
Ready to wear a freshly cut “Prêt-à-Porter”
It’s been 30 years since the late great Robert Altman gave the world the chatty, breezy satire of the fashion world, Prêt-à-Porter (known as Ready to Wear for its U.S. release), and that means it’s time for it to come back into style. Original production company Miramax (yep, they still exist) is working with the BBC on what’s being described as a high-profile TV series. The original film, which starred dozens of well-known names including Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall, and Julia Roberts, focused on the lead-up to Paris Fashion Week.
A long-form series in the early stages of development — plot and setting currently TBD — will allow for another extensive roster of young acting talent and cameo appearances by hot fashion names of today. One detail is known: Ava Pickett, writer on The Great, another series full of amazing outfits and barbed one-liners, is on board. A perfect fit.
Ryan Murphy’s “American Sports Story” spotlights a dark episode in football
In 2013, New England Patriots team member Aaron Hernandez was arrested for — and in 2015 convicted of — the murder of football player Odin Lloyd, only to be found dead in prison from an apparent suicide in 2017. It was a tragic story that brought to light elements of past abuse, physical injury from the game itself, and the uncaring attitudes visited on troubled professional sports figures. His story will become the first season of a new sports anthology series called American Sports Story — the fourth iteration of the American Story franchise — and whose multiple producers will include Ryan Murphy.
The title of this season will be Gladiator: American Sports Story, and the cast features Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story) as Hernandez, alongside Tony Award winner Lindsay Mendez (currently co-starring in the Broadway revival of Merrily We Roll Along), and Patrick Schwarzenegger as football star Tim Tebow. Shooting’s been interrupted by the SAG-AFTRA strike but will roll again as soon as possible.
Here comes “Echo,” some TV-MA from Marvel
We’re big fans of Native American trans filmmaker Sydney Freeland’s indie drama Drunktown’s Finest, and we were thrilled to learn that she’d be taking the lead on a new project for Marvel, Echo. Well, the trailer just dropped for the violent adult-oriented Hawkeye spinoff series starring Alaqua Cox, and it’ll be the first time a Marvel TV project has earned a TV-MA rating. Plot-wise, it’ll involve the character of Echo/Maya Lopez (Cox), a young deaf woman returning from New York — the setting of Hawkeye — to her home in Oklahoma, where she’ll reconnect with her Native American roots and deal with the past she left behind.
The series also stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Devery Jacobs and Zahn McClarnon (both Reservation Dogs), Academy Award nominee for Dances with Wolves Graham Greene, and Killers of the Flower Moon co-star Tantoo Cardinal. So yes, the cast is packed, the trailer looks dark, and it all hits Hulu and Disney+ on Jan. 10. Mark your calendar.
Romeo San Vicente likes a big pizza pie.