If the heady bustle and breathless coverage today of the Supreme Court hearing about Proposition 8 seems rather cinematic, it could actually be coming to a theater near you soon enough.
Some background: The Prop 8 case first originated, of course, with a 2010 district court trial that struck down the California constitutional amendment effectively banning same-sex marriage. When the organizations defending Prop 8 successfully barred the release of video from that trial to the public, Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk) turned the trial transcripts into a play called 8, which has since been performed around the country by both star-studded casts and local communities.
Well, earlier this month at the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards in Austin, Texas, I had a chance to chat up director Rob Reiner, a co-founder of the American Foundation of Equal Rights, one the groups backing the Prop 8 challenge. (He was there to present an honor to Robin Wright.) I asked Reiner if he hoped to bring Black’s play to the big screen.
“Well, we are working on it,” he said. “Lance is working on a screenplay, and hopefully, when he finishes it, I’m going to direct it.”
Part of the delay is that the Prop 8 story isn’t over until the Supreme Court rules on the case. “Hopefully, we’ll win, and then the question is how broadly or narrowly they rule,” said Reiner, whose next directing project will be the film And So It Goes… with Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton. “If they rule in the broadest way, which we hope they do, that will open the door to marriage equality throughout the country. If not, then they might assign themselves with the White House’s [amicus] brief, which would open it up for eight more states, and that would basically start the ball rolling throughout the country. If they limit it to just California, then at least that’s an eighth of the country, in addition to the 11 states that already [have same-sex marriage]. It’s just a matter of time before we have marriage equality throughout the country. … We’ll know pretty soon. We’ll know by June.”
Below, you can watch the Los Angeles performance of 8, starring George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christine Lahti, Matt Bomer, Matthew Morrison, Chris Colfer, Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon), James Pickens, Jr. (Grey’s Anatomy), Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons), and George Takei.
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