Casting call

Billy Eichner to star in first gay, male rom-com from major Hollywood studio

Billy Eichner at the 2019 Primetime Emmy Creative Arts Awards, Los Angeles
Billy Eichner at the 2019 Primetime Emmy Creative Arts Awards, Los Angeles (Photo: Shutterstock)

Billy Eichner is making a gay romantic comedy for Universal. Entitled Bros, it’s about two men with commitment issues who attempt to enter a relationship with one another. The movie is slated to be released August 12, 2022.

Besides taking a lead role, Eichner, 42, will executive produce the movie and is co-writing the script with director Nicholas Stolle (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek). Judd Apatow will serve as producer.

Eichner first signed a deal with Universal to make the movie back in 2019, but a title and release date was only confirmed on Friday.

Related: Billy Eichner shades Kirstie Alley for her Twitter tantrum over not being able to discriminate

Eichner spoke Variety back in 2019 about being the first openly gay man to write and star in a major studio movie.

“I’m honored that it’s me, but it should have been someone else 30 or 40 years ago,” he said. “I hear people talking about diversity and inclusion, but I often see gay people left out of those conversations. The comedy community, which has always been such a straight man’s game, has not been kind to openly gay men.”

Although there have been dozens of LGBTQ-themed love stories from independent moviemakers, it’s only recently that the bigger studios have begun to make romances with queer leads.

The 2018 comedy-drama Love, Simon, about a High School student exploring his sexuality, was distributed by 20th Century Fox and proved a box office hit. This has been followed in the last couple of years by a rash of same-sex-centered holiday movies. Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis starred in Happiest Season, which was expected to receive a theatrical release it not for the pandemic (it ended up on Hulu instead).

On Friday, Eichner took to social media to announce details of the movie.

“I’M MAKING A MOVIE!!!! Coming to a theater near you Aug 12, 2022! In shocking news, BROS will be the first rom-com about gay men ever produced by a major studio and, apparently, I’m the first openly gay man to ever write and star in their own studio film. Only took 100 years! THANKS HOLLYWOOD!!!”

He added in a second tweet, “Also, fuck my manager in 2006 who told me to be less gay because a big agent was coming to my show. FUCKKKKKKK YOUUUUUUU!!!”

Related: Billy Eichner and Kate McKinnon run around New York convincing people she’s Reese Witherspoon

Eichner made a name for himself with the comedic Billy On The Street, in which he accosts New Yorkers, often with a celebrity in tow. He voiced the meerkat Timon in Disney’s recent Lion King remake and will soon appear as Matt Drudge in American Crime Story: Impeachment.

There’s no word yet on who else will be appearing in Bros.