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Billy Eichner developing Paul Lynde biopic Man in the Box

Queer and square at the same time is a good way to describe the legendary Paul Lynde, the comic actor who worked in film and TV for decades, but is most well-known for occupying the center square box of the long-running game show Hollywood Squares. And for the upcoming biopic Man in the Box, the title takes on a second meaning, because Lynde was, if not fully closeted, also not fully out in any contemporary understanding of the word. He existed as he was on camera, a not-masculine man in a pre-Stonewall culture (the word was “flamboyant” back then) whose job was to make America laugh. But he was also never allowed to speak about who he was. It was a peculiar and terrible bind placed on performers of that era, one that will be explored when Billy Eichner takes on the role. Eichner is producing the film, and developing a script from Edwin Cannistraci, which will explore the complexities and isolation of a Hollywood life lived somewhere between the closet and career-ending honesty. It seems like a no-brainer that Eichner should be the person who handles this story, and we can’t wait to see the final product.

 

Scotty Bowers lives again thanks to Seth Rogen and Luca Guadagnino

The late Scotty Bowers was a bisexual man who could only exist in Hollywood in the golden age of studios controlling actors’ lives. Back in post-WW2 Los Angeles, Bowers operated a combination gas station/brothel, serving the needs of closeted actors and actresses with an array of helpful employees. His late-in-life tell-all book, Full Service, inspired the documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, and his life was the basis for a character in Ryan Murphy’s miniseries Hollywood. That means it’s time for another take on the story, this time from queer filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) and the screenwriting team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It’s early yet, so there’s no cast, and no delivery date that we know of, but re-orienting Hollywood history to accommodate the truths that actors were denied the chance to live openly back in the day? That’s always welcome, whenever they get around to sharing it with the world.

 

Romeo San Vicente is currently at the beach, masked, with a 6-foot sand castle barrier separating him from admirers.

 

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