*flapping hands and squeeing*
“The true story of the secret love affair between two of the most popular leading men of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Tab Hunter and Anthony Perkins, is heading to the big screen thanks to Zachary Quinto and J.J. Abrams.
Titled Tab & Tony, the Paramount drama is based on Hunter’s first-person account of his struggle to come to terms with his sexual orientation in 1950s Hollywood, an era in which being openly gay was taboo.
Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and his Star Trek collaborator Quinto are producing, along with Allan Glaser, a studio exec turned producer who is also Hunter’s longtime partner, and Neil Koenigsberg, a legendary publicist who is the founding “K” in the PR firm PMK.
Writing the screenplay is Doug Wright, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his Tony-winning play I Am My Own Wife and also penned Quills, the off-Broadway play that was adapted into a 2000 period drama starring Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet.
A search is underway for a director and actors to portray the two icons.”
Okay, let us stop you right there, Hollywood Reporter, and shout “ARMIE HAMMER AND ANDREW GARFIELD” into the void.
Come ON. This one’s a no-brainer.
Now, we’ll admit to being incredibly biased on this one (we named our cat Tab Hunter, after all), but we couldn’t be more thrilled that this story is finally being told. While the argument could be made that queer cinema has a long tradition of focusing almost exclusively on the stories of good-looking white gay men, we can’t help seeing this particular story as one of the great unexplored gay romantic tragedies of Hollywood. We won’t go so far as to say it “needs” to be told, but we’re glad that it is. The story of two of the biggest movie stars of the day; both astonishingly good-looking and the romantic idols of an entire generation of teen girls, hiding their romance under a relentless spotlight, a draconian studio system, and a society that considered their attraction grounds not just for firing, but for incarceration? That’s a hell of a story.
Also, lots of scenes of cute boys kissing, which is always welcome.
Of course the real reason we’re so psyched about this (and so biased in its favor) is because we interviewed Tab Hunter on our podcast a couple of years back and found him to be an absolutely lovely man; funny, colorful, and a great storyteller who’s lived an amazing life. We opted not to focus too much on the Tony Perkins story, mainly because it’s only a small part of a long life, but he talked about it willingly and openly, along with a whole bunch of other stories about his charmed life. You can listen to the whole thing here.
[Photo Credit: Archive]