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Billy Porter Set to Play James Baldwin in Upcoming Film

Billy Porter Set to Play James Baldwin in Upcoming Film

Billy Porter and James Baldwin

Porter will also co-write the script about the activist and writer's life.


The out Emmy-winning Pose star Billy Porter will be playing renowned writer and activist James Baldwin in an upcoming feature. Porter and Dan McCabe will write the script.

The feature will be based on James Baldwin: A Biography by David Leeming, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Porter, who has won an Emmy, Tony, and Grammy and is an Oscar away from EGOT status, has been an admirer of Baldwin for years, even quoting the civil rights icon during his 2019 Emmy speech.

“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,” the actor, 53, said in a statement.

Baldwin was an outspoken gay Black writer. He was born in Harlem in 1924. He spent significant time abroad. Much of his written work focused on Black identity, sexuality, and race.

Some of Baldwin’s works include Go Tell It on the Mountain, Notes of a Native Son, Another Country, and The Fire Next Time.

“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 Bryon Allen, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group, in a statement, according to THR. Allen Media Group will co-produce the film along with Porter’s Incognegro Productions.

A director for the project has not been announced.

Porter recently appeared as the cover star for The Advocate's sibling publication Out. He said that he's just getting started with his artistic endeavors — from singing to directing to producing.

“I’m excited to just be able to finally communicate my gift artistically and creatively with the world,” Porter said. “God gave me the gift of song, and it was so expansive. That’s what gave me the courage to stretch out and become all these other things.”

He added: “I don’t want no ceilings on my sh*t. White folks don’t get ceilings. I’m gonna be in movies. Imma direct movies. I’m writing them. I’m producing sh*t. I’m nominated for an NAACP Award being a voice with The Proud Family. I’m doing all of it. No glass ceiling, no limitations.”

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