You may know Chris Colfer from “Glee.” He’s just turned 22, and he’s threatening to become the next James Franco. The terrific film he wrote and starred in, “Struck by Lightning.” has been sold, I’m told, to Tribeca Films, Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal’s company. This very mordant comedy hits every note just right, in the same vein as “Juno,” “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Napoleon Dynamite.”
The word is that Tribeca will release it in mid -December. Colfer, who has to return to “Glee” soon, is keeping busy sort of 24/7. He’s written a horror film he hopes to shoot next winter in Louisiana. “We were going to shoot it in August,” he told me at People magazine’s swanky party for the BEA Book convention last night at the Top of the Standard.
“Then we realized there’s no snow in Louisiana now.” Whoops! So Colfer will keep busy promoting his new book, “The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell,” the first part of a trilogy for teens, which Little Brown for Young Readers publishes on July 17th.
And yes, he is just 22 (on May 27th). This Colfer kid is a keeper. More projects are coming. And what about “Glee”? He told me the actors don’t know exactly what’s happening until they get their first scripts. But Colfer’s character graduated from high school, so now he and the other grads will head to New York as “Glee” becomes a show within a show
Those attending this morning’s Children’s Book and Author Breakfast will get their fill of entertaining fare. After an opening welcome from Walter Dean Myers, the reigning National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, breakfasters will listen to an impressive lineup of speakers: emcee Chris Colfer, John Green, Lois Lowry, and Kadir Nelson.
Chris Colfer, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on Fox TV’s Glee, takes to the podium today in his new role as children’s book author. Colfer, 22, will have a long-held dream realized with the publication of The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, which Little, Brown will release in July with a 250,000-copy announced first printing. The novel introduces twins who leave their world behind and come face-to-face with fairy tale characters.
“This is something I have wanted to do since I was a kid, and I’m so relieved and happy to mark this off my bucket list,” Colfer says. “When I was five or six, I fell in love with a big book of fairy tales my mom read to me. I’d sit for hours and hours staring at the pages, imagining the adventures I wanted to have with these characters. Then a few years later, I began thinking up a story about a boy and girl who meet up with fairy tale characters, and I told my grandmother I wanted to write a book. She was very supportive, but when I tried to write it, I realized I didn’t have enough words to do the story justice, and I’d have to wait till I was more grown-up. So here I am!”
When agent Rob Weisbach approached Colfer to write his autobiography after his Golden Globe win, the actor replied that he’d rather write a children’s fantasy. “I could just imagine his face at the other end of the phone line,” Colfer says, laughing. “But he agreed and asked me to send him a sample of the story. I did, and within a couple of weeks I had my contract with Little, Brown.”
Though years have passed since Colfer took his initial stab at the story, writing The Land of Stories still wasn’t easy—especially given Colfer’s ample distractions. “Writing this book, keeping the story alive was difficult for me, though I was finally able to let it all flow,” he recalls. “The process was a bit crazy, since I wrote the novel while we were on a world tour for Glee. I’d write on planes, backstage—even under the stage. I’d jump up to sing a song and then go back and write for 10 minutes until the next song.”
Colfer is happy to have been asked to emcee at today’s breakfast—and to be at BEA. “This whole process of becoming a children’s book author has been so exciting for me, and I can’t begin to describe in words how much it means to me to be here,” he says. After the breakfast, Colfer will sign ARCs of The Land of Stories at the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers booth (3632), 11 a.m.–noon.
The source includes interviews with the other speakers who’ll be at the breakfast.
ZOOEY DESCHANEL was looking for a few accomplished backup singers Sunday. A source at the Fox’s Upfront party, held Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel, says Deschanel recruited “Glee” stars Chris Colfer, Naya Rivera and on-and-off screen couple Cory Monteith and Lea Michele to hit a downtown karaoke bar after the party. […]
Tribeca: Chris Colfer Talks His Screenwriting Debut ‘Struck By Lightning,’ and Explains Why He Didn’t Cast His ‘Glee’ Co-Stars
Chris Colfer has already proven himself singing, dancing and acting his way into the hearts of fans worldwide in Fox’s hit TV show “Glee.” On Sunday, Colfer proved himself to be a quadruple threat after world premiering his snappy and ambitious screenwriting debut, “Struck By Lightning,” at the Tribeca Film Festival, to a standing ovation.
Colfer, who’s 21, started working on the screenplay when he was 16, before “Glee” came along. He began by developing the many characters that make up his coming-of-age tale and in his junior year molded it into a 10-minute piece for a speech and debate event, Original Poetry and Prose, where he played every character. Fast forward five years later and Colfer’s expanded script finds its way to the screen with “Saved” director Brian Dannelly at the helm, and a cast that includes Allison Janney, Christina Hendricks and Dermot Mulroney.
In “Struck By Lightning,” Colfer plays Carson, a senior who will do anything to get into his dream school, Northwestern University, and away from his depressed and alcoholic mother (Janney), who keeps holding him back from realizing his dreams.
Indiewire caught up with Colfer the day following its world premiere.
Meet Hollywood’s newest hyphenate. Except you’ve already met him!
Yep, it’s Glee star Chris Colfer, who wrote and starred in Struck by Lightning, the dark, irreverent coming-of-age comedy that premiered Saturday night at the Tribeca Film Festival.
As a platform for discovery, Tribeca has featured it share of breakout statements, such as Dylan Kidd’s “Roger Dodger” in 2002, and artists taking unprecedented risks, such as Felicity Huffman in “Transamerica” (2005). Here are four actors breaking new ground at this year’s fest:
“It was surreal,” “Glee” star Colfer says of his bigscreen debut in “Struck by Lightning.”
Colfer, who plays Carson, a hyper-ambitious and outspoken high school senior in a small-minded town, says he found it “easy to fall into the role.”
Part of this comfy familiarity had to with creating the role himself, having penned the screenplay. “The script started off as a way for me to vent to myself in high school,” says thesp, who began writing it at age 15. “With his witty comebacks and courage, Carson is who I wish I had been at that point in my life.”
Colfer wouldn’t mind if the coming-of-age pic helps launch a film career, not unlike the way his role in “Glee” has made him the poster boy for gay pride. “I just wanted to make a movie about a teenager who’s inspiring.”
April 17, 2012 - Variety
Colfer’s rise from obscurity to a starring role on “Glee” happened quickly, but his transition to features wasn’t quite as easy.
“A lot of what I was offered was very similar to what I’ve already been doing on ‘Glee,’ and was almost the opposite of what I wanted (“Struck by Lightning”) to be — an inspirational, motivational film.”
He wrote “Lightning” as a therapeutic way to vent about his high school experience, he says. Taking the reins as executive producer, Colfer shot the project during “Glee’s” hiatus. The 22 year old says his writing projects came from ideas developed in high school and earlier, including a Disney TV pilot based on a children’s book he penned, and the concept for a suspense thriller he recently scripted and hopes to exec produce and star in this summer.
“Every person has a shelf life, whether they choose to accept it or not,” Colfer says, “and I have a lot of things I’d like to do before mine expires.”