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Gay man directing Gaiman

John Cameron Mitchell

John Cameron Mitchell

I’ve just finished a colossal feature article on John Cameron Mitchell for my newspaper’s weekend magazine and, if possible, writing that story has made me love him more. More than Tiger blood even. I will post an online version of said feature once its run in print, but in the meantime, here’s an update on his next project – an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties.

Seriously, Cameron Mitchell and Gaiman collaborating? I haven't heard of a duo this awesome since... well, lets just say I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. How To Talk To Girls At Parties is an award-winning sci-fi short story written by Gaiman in 2006 and is set in 70s Britain, when two teenage boys go to a party to meet girls and find out they’re actually aliens. I quizzed Cameron Mitchell about the project at the end of our interview, so he only limited time to talk about it. Alas, here’s what he had to say:

Jane Storm: Now, I heard you're directing Neil Gaiman's short story, How To Talk To Girls At Parties. What can you tell me about that?
John Cameron Mitchell: I’m on the verge of starting the script with Neil (Gaiman). We’ve been talking about it a lot and we’re on the same page. It’s like British with aliens and that goes back to my roots of sci-fi and B movies as a kid.

Jane Storm: It's an awesome lil' story. Were you a fan of Gaiman's work before coming onboard this?
John Cameron Mitchell: I’ve always been aware of him, but not his work. It’s fun to get to know it and I’ve been a fan of comic books as a kid but dropped it when Reagan came in. It’s fun to see that adult comic underground he exemplifies, you know, along with Alan Moore and Frank Miller. They use the comic book super hero themes but it has these different ideas and adult humour.

This is pretty different territory for Cameron Mitchell but as he proved with Rabbit Hole, he’s a director who’s willing to try new things. I mean, after a film about a transgender rock singer and another which pushed the boundaries of explicit sex in mainstream cinema, who would have picked him for a muted drama about parental loss and love? Then to follow that up with a B-movie-esque teen sci-fi... the man is versatile. How To Talk To Girls At Parties hasn’t been tagged with a release date yet (even the basic dets aren’t on IMDB Pro) and with rumours still swirling around about whether it will be live-action or animated, it’s clear we will have a long wait before we get any more solid info on how the project is progressing. The bottom line is, stay tuned.

Note: The second image is a limited edition poster by Camilla d'Errico based on Gaiman's short story.

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