Though filmmaker Roland Emmerich still has the big budget sequel Independence Day 2 on his docket, he’ll first tackle something on a slightly smaller scale. Deadline reports that the 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow director will next helm the gay rights drama Stonewall, which revolves around the 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Hotel in Greenwich Village, a famous gathering place for gays and transgenders. The event ignited the fight against homosexual oppression during a turbulent time in our nation’s history, and this film has been a passion project of Emmerich’s for some time. Hit the jump for more on Stonewall, including who will be taking on the lead role.
Per Deadline, Emmerich has cast War Horse star Jeremy Irvine to lead the pic as a young man who experiences a political awakening in the backdrop of the riots. Irvine did a fine job in Steven Spielberg’s WWI drama, and he’s the standout of the upcoming Colin Firth/Nicole Kidman war drama The Railway Man. Brothers & Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz penned the screenplay for Stonewall, and Emmerich plans to begin production soon.
Though Emmerich is best known for blowing stuff up real good, he previously branched out into straight drama territory with 2011’s Shakespeare drama Anonymous, which was a pleasant surprise. He’s clearly passionate about the subject material explored within Stonewall, so I’m quite eager to see what he puts together.
Emmerich isn’t abandoning tentpole filmmaking altogether, as Independence Day 2 still has a July 1, 2016 release date. He’ll prep that big-budget film as he starts production on Stonewall, and he’s also been developing the sci-fi pic Singularity, though he put that film on hold to do White House Down and hasn’t seemed eager to return to it as of late.