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!