Billy Eichner is ready to change rom-coms for the better.
The 42-year-old comedian and actor is set to star in, executive produce, and co-write Bros, which is set to make history in the romantic comedy genre. The film is set to open in theaters August 12, 2022. The movie was first announced in early 2019.
According to Variety, the film “centers on two gay men with commitment issues who attempt a relationship." Echner is co-writing the movie with Nicholas Stoller, who wrote The Muppets and directed movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Neighbors. Judd Apatow is producing alongside Eichner. We don’t yet know who will play Eichner’s romantic interest.
“I’M MAKING A MOVIE!!!!” Eichner posted on Instagram. “Coming to a theater near you Aug 12, 2022! In shocking news, BROS will be the first rom com about gay men ever produced by a major studio, and, apparently, I'm the first openly gay man to ever write and star in their own studio film. Only took 100 years! THANKS HOLLYWOOD!!!”
On Twitter, he added “I honestly can’t believe it… move over Julia Roberts, there’s a new rom com QUEEN in town!”
Eichner, who has made appearances in Parks and Recreation, American Horror Story, and The Lion King, has also starred in two of his own shows: the pop culture surprise quiz show Billy On The Street, and the Hulu dark comedy Difficult People. He’s set to play Matt Drudge in the upcoming Impeachment: American Crime Story.
Previously, Eichner had talked about the importance of casting gay actors in movies like this. Last year in an interview about his upcoming lead role in a Paul Lynde biopic, Eichner spoke of Bros.
“I’m doing this rom com, about a gay male couple that I wrote and I'm starring in for Universal, that Judd Apatow is producing,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll shoot it next year, but I’m an EP on that and heavily involved in all ways. So I was privy to casting discussions, and I would see when the casting lists were circulating, about which actors to call in for which role. There were so many straight actors on every list to play gay characters. And then, at the beginning before I raised my voice, for the straight characters in the movie, there were never gay actors on the lists for those roles. I saw it with my own eyes. It’s not a two-way street.”
In 2019, Eichner also talked to Variety about the film, and what it felt like to be the first out gay man to write and star in a major movie. “I’m honored that it’s me, but it should have been someone else 30 or 40 years ago,” he said. “I hear people talking about diversity and inclusion, but I often see gay people left out of those conversations. The comedy community, which has always been such a straight man’s game, has not been kind to openly gay men, and I still see so much homophobia when it comes to casting.”
Eichner has been one of the leading voices in Hollywood advocating for more gay actors to be cast in both gay and straight roles. Now’s his time to shine.