Billy Porter Slated to Produce and Portray James Baldwin in Biopic

Billy Porter Slated to Produce and Portray James Baldwin in Biopic

The life of civil rights activist and writer, James Baldwin will be brought to life in a biopic that will feature Billy Porter as the celebrated gay man.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Kinky Boots Broadway performer will portray the Harlem-born author on the big screen. The movie script will be written by Porter and Dan McCabe and will be based on the 1994 book by David Leeming, James Baldwin: A Biography.

“As a Black queer man on this planet with relative consciousness, I find myself, like James Baldwin said, ‘in a rage all the time.’ I am because James was. I stand on James Baldwin’s shoulders, and I intend to expand his legacy for generations to come,” Porter said in a written statement.

Porter, who has already won an Emmy-, Tony- and Grammy Award can add that coveted EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award winner) status if his performance merits it. The entertainer won a Tony Award in 2013 for the role he played in Kinky Boots and that same year, he received a Grammy Award for the production’s album. Six years later, in 2019, Porter won his Emmy Award, for playing Pray Tell in FX‘s Pose.

People reported that the long-time Baldwin admirer quoted the author in his acceptance speech when he won the Emmy three years ago in 2019: “James Baldwin said, ‘[it] took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this earth like I had the right to be here.’ ”

“I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right.”

Porter’s company, Incognegro Productions will co-produce the biopic with Bryon Allen’s Allen Media Group. “Billy Porter and Dan McCabe’s talent and commitment to amplifying James Baldwin’s legacy and contributions are invaluable and unmatched for this unique and epic story,” said Allen.

Baldwin was a gay Black writer and civil rights activist, who was born in Harlem in 1924. His more popular books, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Notes of a Native Son, Another Country and The Fire Next Time, were either turned into or inspired movies, including Barry JenkinsIf Beale Street Could Talk and Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro documentary.

Billy Porter Slated to Produce and Portray James Baldwin in Biopic

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