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Roland Emmerich To Make His First Gay Movie "Stonewall"

Roland Emmerich will direct Jeremy Irvine in "Stonewall"Roland Emmerich is a size queen. I had the world's shortest interview with him while he was promoting Anonymous, a rare trip away from the ginormous epic blockbuster spectacles he prefers to make. But that was, in its own peculiar academic-enraging way, also supersized with CGI and a lusty embrace of conspiracy theories. In fact he ended our interview defending the size of his pictures.

It has to be big or I don't like it."

My mind raced back to that interview today when the news broke that Emmerich plans to make a drama about the Stonewall riots which poured gasoline on the then tiny embers of the gay rights movement. He'll film Stonewall before embarking on the long gestating Independence Day sequels. Young beauty Jeremy Irvine (War Horse, The Railway Man) has the lead role as a man who has a political awakening with the riots as backdrop.

That sounds quite a lot like the other movie about the Stonewall Riots which was also called simply Stonewall (1995). It followed a young gay looker (Frederick Weller) who got more politicized by dating a drag queen (Scandal's Guillermo Díaz when he was young and a tiny slip of a thing) with the Stonewall riots as backdrop.

Stonewall (1995) with Guillermo Díaz and Frederick Weller

I'm honestly a bit surprised though because when I interviewed Emmerich he didn't seem likely to do something that direct. Here's what he told me at the time.

NATHANIEL: You're an out director, you've donated to gay causes. But you do all these huge mainstream sci-fi movies. Would you ever do a gay film? 

ROLAND EMMERICH: If the right one comes along. I would love to put more openly gay characters in my mainstream movies which is something I'm really working on. Honest to god, I'm constantly trying, like, "who can i make gay?" [Laughter]. But i also don't want to do it blatantly. That's not good. It's all about integration, show it as a totally normal thing without making a big deal out of it. 

NATHANIEL: So what you're saying is that Universal Soldier is going to remain your gayest movie.

EMMERICH: [Laughs] 

I guess Universal Soldier (1992) will finally have to step down once Stonewall (2015) is a reality.

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Reader Comments (9)

Change the director and lead actor and I'm in.

April 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

I'm pretty sure April Fool's Day is still on the 1st, vacation time or not.

April 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

I doubt Emmerich has it in him to do this subject justice, but I'm sure he will make Jeremy Irvine look very pretty indeed, and that's something I can get behind.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

News like this will obviously attract its fare share of bad comments, but I'm happy. I'd like to be able to see what Emmerich can do. Of course, the similarities to the earlier STONEWALL (a film I very much like) is cause of concern, but I'm willing to keep an open mind. I'm always keen for high profile directors to take on material like this.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

As someone who has appreciated Roland Emmerich's recent command of spectacle in '2012' and his stab at historical drama with 'Anonymous', and had an outright blast with 'White House Down', I'm weirdly excited by this development. Jeremy Irvine has yet to prove himself, so it's a great opportunity on both fronts. It could turn disastrous, but it could just as well work unexpectedly well, though here I am expecting already.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDuncan Houst

Finally I got something in common with Mr. Emmerich.

I really liked Stonewall.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Roark - I can get behind Jeremy Irvine as well!

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobMiles

I was in the 95 Stonewall. My first scene as a SAG carrying actor was the riot scene. I was in stilettos. It was a cobble stone street. Its where I learned (the hard way) that your first and most important motivation is to get from A to B without falling down.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

If "Stonewall" was about drag queens vs giant alien zombies this might work....

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

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