Billy Porter Cast in James Baldwin Biopic

Billy Porter Cast in James Baldwin Biopic

BYJoan SummersApr 14, 2023

Crack open those copies of The Fire Next Time!

Billy Porter has been cast as James Baldwin in the late writer's upcoming biopic, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He's set to star in the adaptation of David Leeming's 1994 book James Baldwin: A Biography, which will be written by both Porter and Dan McCabe.

THR also reports that his production company, Incognegro Productions, will co-produce the film with Allen Media Group. A director hasn't been set despite Porter already being cast, but that's not unheard of in situations where the actor is producing the film they are set to star in.

Throughout his life, Baldwin wrote numerous acclaimed novels like Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni's Room and If Beale Street Could Talk, the latter of which was later adapted into the 2018 Oscar-winning film of the same name. He also published essay collections like Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time, which are still taught and discussed in schools to this day. His work is enduring for its interwoven themes of Black liberation and sexuality, among numerous others, and his writings are considered among the greatest contributions to literature throughout history.

Not only was Baldwin deeply intertwined with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, he and his work would later inspire the gay liberation movement in subsequent decades. In his personal and public life, he was also known for his eccentricities and fashion sensibilities. By all accounts, Porter is perfect casting for the part.

Besides the Baldwin biopic, Porter's upcoming film Our Son is in post-production. He also starred in 80 for Brady earlier this year alongside Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno and Sally Field. He's even provided voice work for The Proud Family reboot and produced the BET documentary Black + Iconic: Style Gods, which he is also featured in. The documentary discusses "the cultural impact of Black fashion pioneers and activists, from Dapper Dan and Beverly Johnson to Beyoncé, Rihanna and Michelle Obama."

Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty