Heath Has a Joker Up His Sleeve
He set gay hearts a-throbbing the world over with his sensitive portrayal of a lovesick cowpoke in Brokeback Mountain, but Heath Ledger's next role may have him wearing a familiar sick smile. Well, if you consider a twisted rictus of evil a 'smile,' that is. The Australian hunk is being eyed to play homicidal clown The Joker in the upcoming sequel to last year's smash hit Batman Begins. If Ledger takes the role, he'll face off against Christian Bale, who will once again don a cape and pointy ears for director Christopher Nolan. In the meantime, Ledger can be seen in the drug drama Candy, and will soon be playing Bob Dylan in queer director Todd Haynes' eagerly awaited I'm Not There. Look for the as-yet-untitled Bat-sequel to swoop into theaters in 2008.
Michelle Pfeiffer Shakes It for Hairspray
Time for Romeo's ongoing Hairspray report, part 17. It takes a whole lot of woman to fill the shoes of Deborah Harry, but the makers of the upcoming film version of Broadway's Hairspray have found her. Michelle Pfeiffer has been chosen to play Velma Von Tussle, the racist TV-station owner and one-time 'Miss Soft Crab' ( played by Harry in the 1988 non-musical film ) who resists a band of dancing kids and their efforts to segregate a teen dance show in 1950s Baltimore. The project has gay cred for miles, from John Waters' original movie, to the queer army behind the Broadway musical, to the new film's director, Adam Shankman ( The Pacifier ) , and executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ( Chicago ) . And when Pfeiffer squares off against John Travolta's Edna Turnblad, it will be a battle of the Grease and Grease 2 stars.
Little Britain's Lucas Goes Green
British gay comedian Matt Lucas—who alongside David Walliams is one half of the brilliantly funny duo of BBC America's hit series Little Britain—has more on his plate these days than just bangers and mash. For starters, Lucas will be seen playing Mr. Toad in an upcoming British TV version of the classic book The Wind in the Willows, joined by famed Brit character actors like Bob Hoskins and Imelda Staunton. Lucas and Walliams have also just signed a major, exclusive deal with the BBC that will yield two more Christmas specials, a tour of the United Kingdom, and a possible new sketch show that would incorporate some of Britain's outrageous characters—such as Daffydd, who's convinced he's 'the only gay in the village,' and unconvincing transvestite Emily Howard.