Billy Porter will play American James Baldwin in a film based on the life of the American novelist, critic and activist.
The Pose star will co-produce the film alongside Byron Allen’s Media Group Pictures. Porter and Dan McCabe will write the screenplay based on the 1994 book James Baldwin: A Biography.
The project has been a long-standing creative and personal ambition for Porter, who has one Oscar less than Ego (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony). The 53-year-old Broadway veteran has long expressed admiration and affinity for the civil rights leader and essayist, whom he mentioned during his historic 2019 Emmy acceptance speech.
“As a black queer man on this relatively conscious planet, I find myself, as James Baldwin said, ‘furious all the time,'” Porter said in a statement. “I am because it was James. I stand on the shoulders of James Baldwin and intend to extend his legacy for generations to come,” Porter said in a statement.
Born in 1924 in Harlem, Baldwin gained widespread recognition during his lifetime for his numerous works spanning theater, poetry, essays, and novels, often referring to his experience as a gay black man in the segregated United States. His major works include Go Tell It on the Mountain, Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time, Another Country and Giovanni’s Room. Several of his most important works have been adapted into feature films, including Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk and Raoul Peck’s documentary I Am Not Your Negro.
“The talent and commitment of Billy Porter and Dan McCabe to enhance the legacy and contribution of James Baldwin are invaluable and unsurpassed for this unique and epic story,” said Byron Allen, president and CEO of Allen Media Group. in his statement. Allen will co-produce the Baldwin biopic with Porter’s Incognegro Productions. A director and further details have yet to be announced.
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