With Gus Van Sant's Milk set to world premiere tonight at San Francisco's famous Castro Theater—an event that has the locals so excited, the biopic is practically bubbling up and dribbling down their nostrils—we thought we'd take a moment to introduce you to its breakout star. No, not him—you know him already. And not him, or him, or him, or even him. We speak, of course, of screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, whose name you might have noticed standing approximately 30-feet tall at the last moments of the Milk trailer.Variety announced today that the extremely photogenic and openly gay recovering Mormon would be writing Van Sant's next feature—an adaptation of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Pack it up, Diablo. There's a new It Scribe in town. We now run down for you Everything You Always Wanted to Know About DLB but Weren't Yet Aware of His Existence Enough To Ask: I. HE LOOKS GREAT WITH HIS SHIRT OFF
This should probably have gone further down the list, but let's face it: If Dustin was a chubby, balding, 53-year-old founding member of ACT-UP, no one would care as much. So let's just get it out of the way. Dustin is categorically hot in a cornfed Mormon-ish kind of way, and makes an attractive addition to any pool terrace, TigerHeat dance floor, or gayish men's magazine pictorial. II. MILK ISN'T HIS FIRST JOB, IT'S JUST HIS BIGGEST
Black has been a writer on Big Love since it debuted, adding Mormonthenticity to dialogue for characters like the polygamist-chic Chloe Sevigny (she's always so ahead of the curve) and the rest of the Henrickson wives. He also directed On the Bus—a 2001 documentary about a trip to Burning Man that features Black himself on the DVD cover. (Yes, shirtless.) III. HAS HE EVER TRIED TO GET INSIDE THE MIND OF A SEXUALLY USED POOL BOY?
Yes! His first feature, The Journey of Jared Price, is about a hot poolboy who arrives from the Midwest and is employed by an intermittently blind dowager. The poolboy is used for his body, but emerges from his journey a stronger person. IV. WHAT LED HIM TO WRITE HARVEY MILK'S LIFE STORY WILL BRING TEARS TO YOUR EYES
"The writer vividly recalls the day he visited the Gay and Lesbian Archives and discovered the blood-stained suit Milk was assassinated in: 'For me, it was like putting flesh on a father figure.' Born a closeted Mormon in San Antonio, Texas, Black – who grew up without a father – envisioned Milk as the encouraging paternal figure he never had. 'I was listening to one of his speeches right after he was elected to public office, and he says something like, ‘There’s a kid out there, maybe in San Antonio, who’s going to hear my story and hear that an openly gay man was elected to public office — and it’s going to give him hope.’ And I just lost it, because that’s exactly what it did for me.'" (From an Advocate magazine-only feature penned by our own Kyle Buchanan.) V. SORRY LADIES. HE WON'T SWITCH TEAMS "I had my first crushes on a boy neighbor when I was like six, seven. I knew what was going on. I knew I liked him." VI. HE CITES PET SEMATARY AS A MAJOR INFLUENCE
Fom his MySpace profile: "Movies: MILK, Pet Cemetary, Boyz N tha Hood, Akeelah and the Bee, Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style, Original Gangstas, RoboCop 2, From Dusk Til Dawn, Sin City, Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Seven Samurai, The Queen, Big Momma's House and of course the Nutty Professor 2: The Klumphs... not exactly."