Freddie Mercury, Elton John, and… Neil Bogart? Sure, he might not be a household name, but he was a hit-maker on an epic scale in the 1970s, that’s because Bogart ran Casablanca Records, where the roster of talent included Donna Summer, KISS, Parliament, Village People, The Isley Brothers and Gladys Knight, among many, many others. And like Elton and Freddie, the late mogul is getting a movie. Production begins July 16 in Canada on Spinning Gold, a film written and directed by Timothy Scott Bogart, son of the disco-boss who died in 1982 of cancer at the too-young age of 39. Bogart says the film won’t pull any punches on 70s excess, and there’s already an impressive cast assembled: Samuel L. Jackson as George Clinton, Kenan Thompson as Motown’s Berry Gordy, Jason Isaacs, Jason Derulo, Jay Pharoah, D.L. Hughley, singer Jazmine Sullivan, Neil Patrick Harris, Michelle Monaghan and Jeremy Jordan as Neil Bogart. At the moment, though, Donna Summer has yet to be cast. Now, some advice for the production, from very queer authorities on the matter: do not let anyone else sing for Summer, because no one can touch that greatness. Let them lip sync for their life.
Dee Rees: From Mudbound to a Musical
Dee Rees’ next project will be The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies, a musical based on her own original script. It’s kind of the perfect move, since her last feature, 2017’s Mudbound, earned four Academy Award nominations, and her earlier HBO biopic Bessie got her a couple of Emmy nominations.
Why not be bold and go for it with a musical after all that? With music by Santigold, Kyd’s concerns a young musician from a little town called Same Ol’ Same Ol’ who leaves in search of stardom in a sparkling place called It City. And in recent press Rees has described her favorite childhood musical as The Wiz, so this over-the-rainbow vibe the sketchy story details conjures up must be intentional. We’re expecting great things here because we’ve loved Rees’ queer-centered stories since Pariah, and because there can never be enough musicals. This has been scientifically proven.
Romeo San Vicente just loves musicals!