Jake Gyllenhaal’s breakout film was “The Day After Tomorrow” (2004), which grossed $552 million. It was followed by “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), which featured romantic scenes with the late Oscar-winning actor Heath Ledger, shocking to some, but still able to win Oscars for its director, adapted screenplay and musical score, and a best-actor nomination for Ledger.
Gyllenhaal’s voiceover in the animated film “Spirit Untamed,” with Julianne Moore, opened in June and managed to gross $38.6 million despite the pandemic. His Danish crime thriller “The Guilty,” with Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough and Peter Sarsgaard, was well-received at The Toronto Film Festival. He’s just wrapped-up Michael Bay’s action thriller “Ambulance,” with Eliza Gonzalez, about two brothers who steal an ambulance with a female paramedic and a critical patient in the back, due Feb. 18 in theaters.
Despite the success of “Brokeback Mountain,” it has taken 16 years for a major studio to make a romantic comedy about two men. Billy Eichner stars in “BROS,” which he co-wrote with Nicholas Stoller (who’s directing), with Judd Apatow producing for Universal Studios. It’s about two men with commitment problems who attempt to start a relationship. The “other” man will be Luke Macfarlane, who played the gay lover of one of the title characters of the 2006-11 ABC series, “Brother & Sisters.” In 2008 he “outed” himself as a gay man in an interview, but still played “straight” men in one Hallmark movie a year from 2014-19, two in 2020 and another in 2021.
Universal is touting “BROS” as the first gay rom-com made by a major studio, but Netflix already beat them to the punch with “Single All the Way,” which stars “Ugly Betty’s” Michael Urie and, well lookie here, Luke Macfarlane, dropping in December. Meanwhile, Billy Eichner is set to play Paul Lynde in “The Man in the Box.” Lynde didn’t hide his “gayness” and successfully played Ann-Margret’s father in “Bye, Bye, Birdie” and Uncle Arthur in Elizabeth Montgomery’s “Bewitched” series. He never had to “come out,” no one cared.
While Universal getting more liberal, Netflix is turning cautious. They thought their upcoming film “Blonde” (based on Joyce Carol Oates’ best-selling book of the same name), with Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe, was “too graphic”! The film has Oscar-winner Adrian Brody as “The Playwright,” Bobby Cannavale as “The Ex-Athlete,” Caspar Phillipson as “The President” and Michael Masini as Tony Curtis. Brad Pitt is one of the producers, and what could have been more graphic than those violent scenes in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”?
Speaking of once upon a time, I was once lured to Paul Lynde’s house under false pretenses for a re-shoot and found myself locked up with him in his house ... but that’s another story!
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