... Forget what you've heard about gay characters in films being no big deal in Hollywood anymore. Apparently, sometimes they're still a very big deal. It's bad enough that Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" might have its gay romance neutered, but now director Nick Cassavetes and actor John Cusack are part of Hollywood's de-gaying process, too. Cassavetes will direct and Cusack will star in the film adaptation -- penned by gay screenwriter Jonathan Tolins ("Twilight of the Golds") and Seth Bass -- of gay author David Gerrold's book "The Martian Child." When Romeo first reported on this story, it looked like the plot would follow that of the original book, in which a gay man adopts a 6-year-old boy, only to discover that the child believes himself to be from Mars. In the film, however, Cusack's character will be straight. So far, no one is saying why the gay character was declared an unfit parent and why that change was so vital to the movie's development, but it's a safe bet to say it has a lot to do with the continued triumph of commerce over art. The film begins shooting this fall.