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Film and TV

Billy Porter is coming to save cinemas with a ‘beautiful’ feel-good trans love story

Josh Milton November 19, 2020

Billy Porter attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood wearing his iconic tuxedo gown. (Dan MacMedan/Getty Images)

Billy Porter, truly one of the few shining lights in this cursed plane of existence, is set to make his feature film directorial debut on What If?, a coming-of-age film all about a trans teen finding love.

The 51-year-old Pose star will direct the upcoming film, written by bisexual and bigender screenwriter Alvaro García Lecuona, with newly relaunched Orion Pictures, Deadline reported Wednesday (18 November).

“I’m thrilled to be part of this new space in Hollywood for telling all types of stories from all types of people,” Porter said in a statement.

“I am grateful to be in a position to usher some of these stories into the mainstream and I am humbled that heavy hitters like Christine Vachon and Alana Mayo have entrusted and empowered me in this insane time we all find ourselves in.”

Lecuona’s What If? was on the first annual GLAAD List, a catalog of promising, then-unmade LGBT-inclusive scripts.

Billy Porter to direct a ‘beautiful, contemporary’ trans teen love story. 

Billed as a blend between Booksmart and Love, Simon, the flick will follow 17-year-old high school student Khal who posts to the reddit board r/relationship about his crush on trans classmate Kelsa.

Countless redditors cheer him on to go make his crush a reality. The pair hit it off – because maybe love isn’t dead after all – and must navigate the abject terrors of senior year together as a couple.

What If? will be produced by Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa on behalf of Killer Films, a New York City-based independent film production company behind other queer hits such as the 1999 Boys Don’t Cry and 2015’s Carol.

Alana Mayo, president of Orion Pictures, said: “We couldn’t be more excited to work with Billy Porter on his feature directing debut and are privileged that he, Alvaro, and the producing team behind this special film have entrusted us with their vision for this beautiful, contemporary love story.

What If? is perfectly emblematic of the ambitions we have for the new Orion Pictures: to tell stories about the totality of the human experience.”

More: Alvaro García Lecuona, Billy Porter, GLAAD, movie, Trans, What If

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