Roland Emmerich: Stonewall Will Begin Filming this Spring
By Jerry Portwood
Love him or hate him, Roland Emmerich is always one blockbuster success—or box office flop—ahead of the pack. The openly gay director has made cinematic history (and plenty of enemies) over the years. But now he wants to take the pivotal moment of gay civil rights, jump off from that June 28, 1969, date, and make an indie film extravaganza about the gay experience over the past 45 years. Well, maybe it's not Independence Day big, but still, it's not small potatoes.
"I may want to do a little movie—about $12-14 million—about the Stonewall Riots in New York,” Emmerich told the press last April. “It’s about these crazy kids in New York, and a country bumpkin who gets into their gang, and at the end they start this riot and change the world.” Written by playwright Jon Robin Bates, another Out100 honoree celebrated most recently for his play Other Desert Cities, the film is now set to start filming in the city this spring. Like, now? We suppose so. In the Facebook post, he also explained:
Stonewall will be produced by Michael Fossat, Marc Frydman, and Roland Emmerich. Executive Producers, Kirstin Winker and Adam Press. Line Producer, Carsten Lorenz. Written by Jon Robin Baitz. Cinematographer, Markus Förderer.
Oh and according to sources, it won't be just a retelling of how drag queens and barflies took on the NYPD. It's about how LGBT youth overcome alienation, rejection, and homelessness to forge new families, and new movements. It's a narrative Emmerich says is inspired by homeless youth he's met in LA.
“I’ve got more and more involved in the Gay & Lesbian Center in Los Angeles, and I learned that 40% of homeless kids are gay. So things haven’t changed very much," he says. "But I put this together and said, I should make a movie about that, so it starts with a kid who gets thrown out of his home and ends up on the streets of the village, and becomes friends with all these kids. In a weird way, it shows that it’s still something that happens today."