Billy Porter to Play Writer James Baldwin in Upcoming Biopic: ‘I Intend to Expand His Legacy’

Billy Porter’s next role may be his most important one yet.

Earlier this week, Allen Media Group Motion Pictures announced that the Pose star had been tapped to portray celebrated author and civil rights activist James Baldwin in an upcoming biopic, according to multiple outlets.

In a statement captured by The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, April 12, the veteran thespian spoke about portraying the acclaimed writer, telling reporters. As a Black queer man on this planet with relative consciousness, I find myself, like James Baldwin said, ‘in a rage all the time.’”

He added, “I am because James was. I stand on James Baldwin’s shoulders, and I intend to expand his legacy for generations to come.”

During his award acceptance speech at the 71st Emmys, where he made history by being the first openly gay Black man to be nominated and subsequently win an Emmy Award, Porter quoted Baldwin.

“James Baldwin said, ‘[it] took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this earth like I had the right to be here.’ I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right,” the actor said at the time.

Aside from starring in the upcoming biopic, Porter will also be co-writing the script alongside screenwriter Dan McCabe. The story will be based on the 1994 biography by author David Leeming titled James Baldwin: A Biography. Porter’s Incognegro Productions will co-produce the Baldwin biopic along with Allen Media Group. No word on who will direct or when this film will be released.


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