Movie Depicting Stonewall Riots Starts Filming Soon In New York

roland emmerich at stonewall innIs 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.

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  • davegun2

    I’ll be interested in how they do the drag. In those days it was very dangerous to be gay. To be in drag, well you could end up in the east river with rocks in your pockets. (That happened.)

    The “boys” would wear peddle pusher pants and long t-shirts or what could pass for t-shirts, as dresses. Then when necessary, they would tie the bottom of those shirts into a big knot at the waist, Vioula, no more dress and the cops could go fuck themselves about rules “they” made up about men not wearing woman’s clothing.

    Also, the boys didn’t wear much makeup, a little lipstick and maybe some eye liner, but certainly not what we have today (you go gurls). Again, the danger.

    I went to the Stonewall. Although not their for the riots, but it was one of my hangouts.

  • Mr. E. Jones

    How many straight actors will the cast have?

  • Kangol

    And Emmerich and Baitz had better not whitewash the story and eliminate all the black and brown people, many of them trans, like the late, great Sylvia Rivera, who participated in the uprising and played a key role in establishing the rights that LGBTQ people all over the US and elsewhere now possess.

    I also hope they don’t erase the women who participated either!

  • gaym50ish

    In 2010, it seemed almost as if we had come full circle when a gay-bashing incident occurred at the Stonewall. Except that this time the bullies were not the members of the NYPD. They were homophobes who stood next to a gay man at a urinal and said, “We don’t like gay bars, and we don’t piss next to faggots.” Then they attacked him.

    This time the cops were on our side, and we can credit the NYPD for catching the pair (after a bartender from the Stonewall chased them down the street) and we can thank the DA’s office for effectively prosecuting the attack as a hate crime. The two men received two-year sentences.

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