STONEWALL Trailer: Roland Emmerich Chronicles Historic Gay Rights Riots

     August 4, 2015


The first trailer for the period drama Stonewall, directed by Independence Day and White House Down filmmaker Roland Emmerich has been released online. Based on true events and written by Jon Robin Baitz (Brothers & Sisters), the film tells the story of the 1969 Stonewall riots, which took place outside New York’s Stonewall Inn after police raided the famous gathering place for gay and transgender individuals. Stonewall stars Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as Danny, a young man who is kicked out of his parents’ home and finds solace at the Stonewall Inn, where he witnesses the riots—and subsequent birth of a decades-long fight for equality—firsthand.

Just as with last year’s Selma, the release of Stonewall is coming at a relevant time for its subject matter despite the fact that it depicts events that happened over thirty years ago. The trailer makes that clear, and while Emmerich is better known for his CG-filled blockbusters, he tackled drama to fairly solid results with 2011’s Shakespeare drama Anonymous so he’s clearly capable of handling this kind of material. I like that Stonewall feels stylistically ambitious for the filmmaker, and Irvine did fine work in War Horse so I’m eager to see if he gets the chance to shine in a very different kind of role here.

Watch the trailer below, via Roadside. The film also stars Jonny Beauchamp, Caleb Landry Jones, Joey King, Karl Glusman, Vlademir Alexis, Alexandre Nachi, Matt Craven, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Ron Perlman. Stonewall will premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and opens in theaters on September 25th.

Here’s the official synopsis for Stonewall:

STONEWALL is a drama about a fictional young man caught up during the 1969 Stonewall riots. Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) is forced to leave behind friends and loved ones when he is kicked out of his parent’s home and flees to New York. Alone in Greenwich Village, homeless and destitute, he befriends a group of street kids who soon introduce him to the local watering hole The Stonewall Inn; however, this shady, mafia-run club is far from a safe-haven.  As Danny and his friends experience discrimination, endure atrocities and are repeatedly harassed by the police, we see a rage begin to build. This emotion runs through Danny and the entire community of young gays, lesbians and drag queens who populate the Stonewall Inn and erupts in a storm of anger. With the toss of a single brick, a riot ensues and a crusade for equality is born.


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