Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Harvey Milk Casting: Gayer and Gayer

I'm starting to feel delinquent about my lack of posts in regards to competing Harvey Milk film projects, either of which could be the big gay drama we've hoped for in the tumbleweed quiet after Brokeback Mountain. Though I've never written about it, The Times of Harvey Milk (which won the documentary Oscar for 1984) is one of my favorites. I hope you'll all consider renting it before either of the Milk biopics arrive sometime in 2008/2009.

Towleroad, everyone's favorite online gay news source, has some exciting news regarding the Gus Van Sant version of the Harvey Milk film. As you probably know Sean Penn has the Oscar bait lead role of the slain gay activist and Mayor of Castro Street, Milk himself. More casting has been announced and we're talking Victor Garber (Alias) and TONY winners Stephen Spinella (Angels in America) and Denis O'Hare (Michael Clayton) in supporting roles. It's nice to see that Van Sant and his team (casting by Francine Maisler) are casting out gay actors for some of the roles. Previously announced cast members include bigger names like Josh Brolin (yes!), Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) and James Franco (Spider-Man) who will play Milk's main man.


The Gus Van Sant film, a Focus Features production, is currently in pre-production but the competing Bryan Singer version of the story is on hold due to the WGA Strike. Either way it's heartening to see backing happening for two competing gay themed dramas both of which are being helmed by famous and out directors. Progress!

14 comments:

Robert said...

I hope these films don't overpower The Times of Harvey Milk. It really is one of the best docs ever made.

And I'm also interested in seeing how Mr. Minimalism Van Sant works with Mr. BWAAAAAAAAAAH MY DAWTA! Acting Penn.

Anonymous said...

Is Victor Garber officially "out", or is that just speculation/wishful thinking?

Anonymous said...

A bit like the Infamous/Capote situation?

vinci said...

Penn + Franco = Hotness

Who should play Diane Fienstein? Or does it matter?

NATHANIEL R said...

anon 4:47 i thought he was? anyone know? but it's not wishful thinking... I mean, I don't want to sleep with him. (though I do like him as an actor in general)

Kamikaze Camel said...

I'm fairly certain he's come out at some point.

Nevertheless Bryan Singer's Milk project will probably never be made now that Van Sant's is going so strongly. The producer himself said he didn't want another Capote situation.

bryan said...

at first i was iffy with a straight actor as milk, but come to think of it i think penn is a really good choice.

El Gigante said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Gigante said...

With each casting announcement I anticipate this film more and more. I really hope they get good mileage out of Dennis O'Hare and don't stick him with yet another sniveling jerky bureaucrat type role. He played way too many obnoxious tightwads in 2007 and the guy has buckets of range.

Boyd said...

What's up with Hirsch's casting? Did Penn insist on casting him after Into the Wild? Did Van Sant get a kick out of Hirsch's previous gay roles? Did Hirsch lobby for the part?

Questions, questions...

Anonymous said...

Focus Features should recieve an honoury Oscar for all the quality movies they've been offering us lately.

Boyd said...

Oh - and this just in: Diego Luna will play Milk/Sean Penn's lover Jack Lira.

Penn and Luna in the same bed as directed by Van Sant... that's just so.... icky.

NATHANIEL R said...

wait i thought Franco was his lover? or are there two in the movie?

Boyd said...

SPOILERS AHEAD (if that is possible for something based on a true story).

I'm not particularly familiar with Milk's story, but from what I gather Lira was a lover of Milk's who committed suicide, so it perfectly possible for the film to have two lovers...

END SPOILERS