Is the director of Independence Day working on the next Milk? Roland Emmerich is about to start filming a movie about the Stonewall riots.
Inspired by homeless LGBT youth he met through the Los Angeles LGBT center, Emmerich is tackling the tale of disenfranchised gay youth in 1960s New York. The script is by Jon Robin Baitz, an out writer who’s mostly known for his plays. But he’s also written for West Wing and Alias, which is a show about a spy.
Emmerich, of course, is the big action-adventure director whose movies include Day After Tomorrow, 2012, Godzilla and The Patriot. Hits, every one of them.
It is kind of shocking that there hasn’t been a big realistic cinematic storytelling of the Stonewall riots. There’s Stonewall Uprising, of course, but that’s a documentary. And there was Stonewall, a fictionalized and somewhat comedic 1995 take on the landmark event that starred Guillermo Díaz. Has any other movie told the tale of how down-and-out homosexuals fought back against NYPD harassment, and kicked off the modern queer liberation movement?
The Stonewall Inn, for its part, became a national historic landmark in 2000. That could make historical filming a bit of a challenge, since they’ll need to be very delicate about altering anything on the building. Then again, this might be an opportunity to restore the building to the way that it looked when history was made. That’s what happened in San Francisco, when the move Milk restored the Castro Theater to its ’70s color scheme.
In any event, keep your eyes peeled, New Yorkers. Let us know if you see any gangs of drag queens chasing cops. It could be an action scene from the movie! Or it could be a regular Tuesday night.