Animation Short Shares Story Of How Gay Activist Bisi Alimi Became A Refugee

What is it like to be a gay refugee trying to escape a deadly homeland? That’s a story that one short video is trying to share with us.

According to Pink News, Nigerian-born Bisi Alimi was a popular actor who appeared on the Nigerian tv show, Roses and Thorns, but his popularity became his greatest enemy.

When the show’s producers realized that he was gay, they wrote him off the show. Then, many people, and news sources, started prying into his personal life. It eventually became too much for Alimi as he decided to come out through a talk show interview.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t prepared for the major backlash that would follow.

Bisi Alimi was assaulted and arrested “many times.” Once, a group of men found out where he lived, broke into his home, and then beat him. When the police came, they just accused him of “training people to be gay.”

All of this led Alimi to one conclusion. He had to leave Nigeria.

Now, Bisi Alimi acts as an advocate for gay rights and even created a short animation film,  with the help of RoyalPixel.com.br, to share more details about his struggles, his coming out, and his flight from Nigeria.

You can watch the animation short down below.

h/t: Pink News

Jack Whitehall To Play A Gay Man In Upcoming Disney Film "The Jungle Cruise"

British Comedian Jack Whitehall will be playing an openly gay character in the upcoming Disney film The Jungle Cruise.

Whitehall will be co-starring with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt.

While Variety broke the news that Whitehall would join the film as Blunt's brother back in March, some information about his character is now making the rounds.

The Sun was the one to break this new story and claim that a source of theirs gave them the info.

As the source said:

“This is a huge gig for Jack and has landed him his biggest ever pay cheque.

“But, more excitingly, he is playing a gay man - one who is hugely effete, very camp and very funny.

"It’s a dream role.

“Disney’s always been incredibly supportive of the LGBTQ community.”

"This latest script, set at a time when it wasn’t socially acceptable to be gay, is another significant turning point.”

The source also shares that the character will expressively state that he has no interest in women.

While this might seem exciting at a first glance, there is some room for worry. For instance, an effete person is typically thought of as “useless, ineffective, or pretentious.” This could mean that Whitehall’s character will be on the verge of being a stereotype or problematic at the least.

While many news sources are reporting outrage at Whitehall, a straight man, being cast in a gay role, its the above stated description of the character that's the real problem.

Plus, LGBTQ fans have gotten used to hearing news that LGTBQ characters will appear in films/tv series, showing up/paying to watch, and then being rewarded with killed off characters, comedic relief, and barely visible representation.

This is all to say that we are skeptical at the moment, but we're at least happy to be aware of this new development.

In addition, the movie is currently filming and not set to release until next year. That said, lead star Dwayne Johnson released a first look at the film, sans Whitehall. You can watch it below.

h/t: Variety, The Sun

Lin-Manuel Miranda To Make Directorial Debut With Movie Musical Of A Jonathan Larson Play

Lin-Manuel Miranda has signed on for his film directorial debut with the movie musical “Tick, Tick… Boom!” by the late Jonathan Larson.

Larson is known primarily for being the creator of the rock musical Rent, but that musical wasn’t his only work. Larson had other stories under his resume.

One such writing was the autobiographical rock monologue titled “Tick, Tick… Boom!” The musical went through several Off Broadway performances before being reworked by David Auburn into a stage musical that premiered in 2001.

The story is based off of Larson’s life as a struggling musical composer. The fictitious Jon is an aspiring composer, like Larson, who’s approaching his 30th birthday. He faces a midlife crisis, deals with relationship drama, and lives in a world where HIV is growing.

Lin-Manuel Miranda himself acted in the musical back in 2014 (a rehearsal of which is found below), and now, according to Deadline, the Broadway star will be taking the musical to the silver screen.

Lin-Manuel Miranda will be making his film directorial debut with the movie adaption of Tick, Tick… BOOM! Miranda will be working with Image Entertainment to produce the film. Plus, Dear Evan Hanson book writer Steven Levenson will be writing the screen adaption, and Larson’s sister Julie will be executive producing.

Said the Larson Estate:

“Our family is honored that Lin-Manuel Miranda will launch his directorial career interpreting Jonathan’s most personal work. Lin-Manuel and Steven both have a deep understanding of the piece, and we are so excited to see their vision realized. We hope that Jonathan’s story will resonate with a whole new generation of artists.”

Levenson also shared his enthusiasm for the project by saying:

“Seeing Rent for the first time, as a teenager in 1996, was one of the transformative experiences of my life. To have the opportunity, 22 years later, to work with Lin and the team at Imagine to adapt Tick, Tick…Boom! and tell Jonathan Larson’s remarkable story is a profound honor.”

Lastly, Miranda remarked on how honored he is to work on one of Jonathon Larson’s pieces.

Tick, Tick…Boom! first entered my life in college when I was lucky enough to snag a seat at the Jane Street Theater in 2001,” Miranda said. “Jonathan Larson’s captivating storytelling in Rent first taught me that musicals could be contemporary, true to life, and depict your own experiences. But it was Tick, Tick…Boom! that solidified that drive in me to hone my own voice as a playwright. On stage, playing the role of Jon in 2014 was one of my most honored achievements. To now have the opportunity to make my film directorial debut, in collaboration with the Larson Family and this incredible creative team, and to adapt a work I love so deeply, is a humbling privilege. Together, we aim to honor Jonathan’s legacy and continue to position his work to inspire the next generation of storytellers.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is just one of the many people who have been touched by the works and legacy of Jonathon Larson.                                                                  

Larson was a musical composer living in New York City during the 1980s and 1990s. His biggest achievement was writing the rock musical Rent, though he sadly never saw his play become the big Broadway hit (and moderate film success) that it became. Larson unexpectedly died of an aortic dissection on the morning of Rent’s first preview performance Off Broadway.

Since then, Larson’s name has been remembered as a great playwright who left us at the prime of his potential. His family uses his estate to do good for the theatre community by holding many charities. In addition, there are several notable awards named after him that give back to emerging playwrights/composers.

We look forward to seeing the movie.

New Documentary "Gay Hollywood Dad" To Premiere On Amazon Video

We’ve just discovered an adorable and fun documentary that will air in the near future.

Margin Films has announced the upcoming release of the documentary Gay Hollywood Dad by and starring Quentin Lee.

According to Broadway World, the film follows Lee has he adapts to becoming a father of a newborn baby through surrogacy. “What have I gotten myself into!?” thinks Lee as he explores the first six weeks of being a single father living in Los Angeles. Viewers witness that timeline starting from cutting the umbilical cord to bringing the baby to his first independent film premiere.

Gay Hollywood Dad was originally planned to be a web series, but was later changed into a feature-length film that will now premiere on August 2nd at the New York Asian American International Film Festival. Then, it will appear online on August 3rd through Amazon Instant Video.

Quentin Lee, and son Casper, are joined by filmmakers Adrian Ho and Viet Dang, gestational carrier Crystal Primavera, and actresses Tamlyn Tomita ("Teen Wolf", The Joy Luck Club), Julia Nickson (Rambo: First Blood Part II, Half-Life), Akemi Look (The Unbidden) and Elizabeth Sung (Memoirs of a Geisha, LETHAL WEAPON 4).

While most of us will have to wait until August 3 to watch the feature-length film, the first episode of the web series was uploaded online last year. To get a better idea of what the film will be like, you can watch the series pilot down below.

h/t: Broadway World

Rupert Everett Says Creating His New Oscar Wilde Movie Was Like Giving Birth

Rupert Everett’s Oscar Wilde film has him contemplating how being gay has impacted his life and career.

Everett’s film The Happy Prince released today in the UK. The film follows the life of celebrated playwright and author Oscar Wilde.

More specifically, the film follows the last three years of Wilde’s life after her had been released from prison. During that time, the once beloved writer had found himself hated after being found and tried as a gay man. As such, he forced himself into exile before dying in 1900.

The film was written, directed, and acted by Rupert Everett who gave his all for the project. In fact, he says that creating the project was so agonizing that it was like giving birth.

“At the very beginning I had no notion that the whole process would take 12 years," he told SkyNews.

"It was like a long labor… agonizing at times.

"It was always a question of taking one step forward and then two steps backwards, and it was demoralizing, apart from the moments it went well."

Everett also shared that the project almost didn’t happen because a Hollywood producer wanted to go in a different direction.

"When I finished writing it Robert Fox, my producer, sent it to the greatest producer in America who's a guy called Scott Rudin, who really makes the best films in the states.

"He rang back the next day and said 'I love this film' and I was literally at that point making acceptance speeches in the mirror."

"The day after that - and this is a very good picture of show business, it's like snakes and ladders - he rang back and said 'by the way I don't think you're a very good actor and so I think Philip Seymour Hoffman should play Oscar Wilde'."

“…I was so upset, my world crashed, and I said no to him."

In addition, the process has made Rupert Everett appreciate the life he’s led as a gay actor and creative.

Specifically, Everett spoke on the #MeToo movement and how Hollywood is really just a small circle of men who choose the rules that everyone else struggles to follow.

"The thing is in our business, certainly, it's a boy's club, and I think the thing that has upset women about this boy's club is that if you're going to be a member of this boy's club you have to kind of go with the rules of the boys, and I think really underneath it all that's what the Me Too argument is about," Everett said.

"A gay in the boy's club has a very difficult position too because he's really no more than a second-class citizen."

"At the moment it's perfectly alright for a straight man to play a gay role, but it's not perfectly alright for a gay man to play a straight role, and the boys club would say 'it's because you're all such queens' but actually a lot of straight men are quite queeny too.

"A lot of the gay actors are probably good enough actors to be able to play a straight role but they would say 'oh no there will be no chemistry or this or that or the other', but all these are lies, they are rules made up by the boys club," he said.

Despite dealing with the problems of Hollywood, Rupert Everett has continued on and created the story he desperately wanted to create and be a part of for more than a decade.

If you want to see the film for yourself, its out in UK theaters now and will come to the US on October 5.

Wonder Woman 1984 Set Photos Reveal Signs About The 1980s AIDS Crisis

Everyone’s excited for the beginning of production for the sequel to DC’s Wonder Woman.

When it was revealed that the title of the sequel would be Wonder Woman 1984, many wondered why that specific year was chosen.

Now that production for the movie is underway, some official (and unofficial) set photos have been released online and they are very telling.

While the official photo of Gal Godot as the titular character doesn’t tell us much other than giving us a few 1980s references, like one for National Lampoon, the second photo reveals that Chris Pine's Steve Trevor will be returning.

But what will soon get many talking is the breaking news that the film will be addressing (to what degree, we don’t yet know) the AIDS crisis.

This would make sense as 1984 happens to be the year that the United States publicly recognized the AIDS virus.

While it's possible that the "Silence=Death" signs are just a backdrop for the time period, its exciting to see acknowledgment of the epidemic in the film.

Today is the first day of production for Wonder Woman 1984, so this is a cool revelation for us fans to get right out of the gate. We’ll have to see what else we can discover as production moves forward.

Check Out The First Pictures From Joel Edgerton's Conversion Therapy Film "Boy Erased"

Focus Features has released the first images from the upcoming film Boy Erased.

The film based on a memoir by Garrad Conley follows his childhood experience of going through a conversion therapy program after being outed to his parents.

The film is directed by, written by, and stars Joel Edgerton (as a preist). On top of that, the film is also staring Manchester by the Sea and Lady Bird star Lucas Hedges, Canadian actor-filmmaker Xavier Dolan, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Troye Sivan, and more.

This film will be Edgerton’s second feature film as director after his 2015 horror film The Gift.

“The film satisfies the dramatic and salacious stuff that interested me, but it also had an emotional resonance to it that I felt didn’t just make it a dark and nihilistic story,” Edgerton told Entertainment Weekly. “Garrard’s story is so full of redemption.” 

The film could also be in the cross hairs of awards season due to its dramatic focus on conversion therapy and its September release date. We’ll see if that becomes true.

In the meantime, check out the first stills from the upcoming film down below.