James Baldwin, a novelist and civil rights leader, will be portrayed by Billy Porter in a biopic.

In addition to playing the lead, the James Baldwin: A Biography actor from Pose is collaborating with screenwriter Dan McCabe on the adaptation of the 1994 book by David Leeming, Baldwin’s longtime friend and assistant.

Porter has long admired Baldwin, and playing him in a film has long been one of his ambitions.

“Like James Baldwin once put it, “in a rage all the time,” I find myself as a Black queer man living on this world with somewhat conscious. James was, so I am. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Porter stated, “I stand on James Baldwin’s shoulders, and I plan to enhance his legacy for years to come.

The biopic will also be co-produced by Porter’s production business Incognegro Productions and Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group Motion Pictures.

Allen went on to say that “Billy Porter and Dan McCabe’s talent and dedication to highlighting James Baldwin’s legacy and contributions are invaluable and unmatched for this particular and epic story.”

Go Tell It on the Mountain, Notes of a Native Son, Another Country, The Fire Next Time, and If Beale Street Could Talk are among the works by gay African-American author and civil rights activist James Baldwin that are most well-known. While Barry Jenkins’ unfinished novel Remember This House served as the inspiration for the 2016 documentary I Am Not Your Negro, the latter book was converted into a movie by Jenkins in 2018.

Baldwin, 63, passed away in 1987.


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