Billy Porter will soon embody James Baldwin in a new biopic poised to rack up during award season.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 53-year-old will portray Baldwin through his life as a famed author and civil rights activist. Porter will also help write the script alongside Dan McCabe. The film will focus primarily on the 1994 biography, “James Baldwin: A Biography.” Penned by fellow author and friend David Leeming, the examination of his life follows his journey as a gay writer, his close relationships, and his retreat to Paris before returning to the U.S. to fight for the rights of Black people. Baldwin passed away in 1987 at age 63 of stomach cancer.
Porter is ready to give his all to the role, having been a lifelong fan of Baldwin. He even quoted the legendary writer during his 2019 Emmy acceptance speech.
“I am because James was. I stand on James Baldwin’s shoulders, and I intend to expand his legacy for generations to come,” Porter said in a statement after the biopic was announced Wednesday.
With this powerful movie in his future, Porter may land the single Oscar he needs to reach EGOT status. He earned a Tony Award in 2013 for his performance in “Kinky Boots.” That same year, he received a Grammy Award for the film’s soundtrack. In 2019, Porter made history as the first openly gay Black man to land an Emmy Award, securing the trophy for his groundbreaking role as Pray Tell in FX’s “Pose.”
Porter’s Incognegro Productions will produce the film alongside D.J. Gugenheim, also of Incognegro. The biopic will be presented in collaboration with Allen Media Group, with CEO Byron Allen executive producing. Additionally, Carolyn Folks, Jennifer Lucas, Matthew Signer, and Chris Charalambous will also EP. An official release date has not been unveiled.