triple threat alert!

Ryan O’Connell set to lose his “directing virginity” with some A-list “power gays”

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We love to see the gays winning, so we’re thrilled to hear that Queerty favorite Ryan O’Connell‘s novel Just By Looking At Him will be adapted into a feature film.

But the wins don’t stop there: O’Connell will also be writing, starring in, and directing the movie! A true triple threat.

Per Variety, the film will be O’Connell’s directorial debut, and it comes from FilmNation and Berlanti/Schecter Films, a.k.a the production company co-founded by gay super-producer Greg Berlanti, a.k.a. the man behind Love, SimonThe Broken Hearts Club, and countless TV shows.

But Berlanti’s not the only gay TV royalty involved in Just By Looking At Him; the film will co-star the one-and-only Jim Parsons. Best known as The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon, Parsons been making some big moves into the film world of late, including the upcoming gay romance Spoiler Alert.

Related: Jim Parsons previews gay dramedy ‘Spoiler Alert,’ reveals touching personal connection

In a post about the announcement, O’Connell shared his excitement over working with “power gays” Berlanti and Parsons, saying he “met [them] separately the first year I moved to LA and told my insecure twenty-something self that my voice had value. The best power gays look after the powerless ones….”


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O’Connell will play the lead role of Elliot, a gay television writer with cerebral palsy, and the comedy will follow him as he attempts “to find love and connection in a world that wasn’t built for him.” Parsons is set to play Elliot’s boss, Ethan.

“When Ryan pitched us Just By Looking At Him in his singular style—in his words, a Nora Ephron movie with a ton of gay sex—we were immediately hooked by his hilarious, totally original, empathetic vision for the film,” says the president of FilmNation. “Ryan is the perfect filmmaker to bring this personal-yet-universal underdog story to life. It’s unlike anything else out there, and we’re thrilled to be part of it.”

Related: Ryan O’Connell on disability and playing a “power bottom king” in ‘Queer as Folk’

While O’Connell says he’s excited to lose his “directing virginity,” he’s no stranger to the camera. Previously, he’s starred in Peacock’s gone-too-soon Queer As Folk revival, as well as Netflix‘s comedy Special, which he created based on his own experiences living with cerebral palsy.

O’Connell’s writing credits include the aforementioned Queer As Folk and Special, as well as Will & Grace, The Baby-Sitters Club, and Awkward.

Filming on Just By Looking At Him is slated to begin next spring, with a release date yet to be announced. Whenever it is, we’ll be counting down the days!

Related: Queer as what? At the ‘Queer As Folk’ premiere, stars debate the title’s real meaning


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