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Although “Brokeback Mountain” did not win the Best Picture Oscar, it has won a lot of interest in gay themes in all venues. And it has renewed interest in almost-made films with that theme. For one, “The Front Runner,” a continuing best-seller by Patricia Neil Warren written in 1974, was once optioned for a year by Paul Newman and a script written for him by Jeremy Larner. It’s the story of an Olympics-bound runner and his coach. While the film was not made at that time, Warren  says there are new meetings (with other producers) now “and it looks  very promising.”

She is also assembling stories for “The Lavender Locker Room” as a TV series. The subjects here include Martina Navratilova, Bill Tilden, and Spanish javelin thrower Anna Maria Sagi, interweaving the Spanish Civil war — and  a love story. Warren says she adds another character every two-three months, the latest is set in the rodeo circuit which she titles, “The Real Gay Cowboys.”  Warren is readying the TV/film productions with her producer Greg Zanfardino under her Wildcat International banner.

As for Newman these days he’s busy with his Newman/Haas car racing team which will be in the Long Beach Grand Prix April 9. No, he’s not driving. Or will he?