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Billy Porter to play author and activist James Baldwin in upcoming biopic

E Billy Porter 06182021
Walt Disney Television/Yolanda Perez

Pose star Billy Porter is set to co-write and star in a biopic based on the life of legendary novelist, essayist and activist James Baldwin.

Porter and Dan McCabe will adapt the script for from David Leeming’s 1994 book James Baldwin: A Biography.

“As a Black queer man on this planet with relative consciousness, I find myself, like James Baldwin said, ‘in a rage all the time.’ I am because James was. I stand on James Baldwin’s shoulders, and I intend to expand his legacy for generations to come,” Porter said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

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

Porter is one Oscar away from achieving EGOT status, having won a Tony Award in 2013 for his performance in Kinky Boots and a Grammy Award for the soundtrack. In 2019, he became the first openly gay Black man to be nominated and subsequently win an Emmy Award for his performance as Pray Tell in FX’s Pose.

Baldwin, who died from stomach cancer in 1987 at age 63, per The New York Times‘ obituary, is best known for the books such as Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time, Go Tell it on the Mountain and If Beale Street Could Talk, the last of which Barry Jenkins adapted into the 2018 Oscar-winning movie of the same name.

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