'I intend to expand his legacy for generations to come': Billy Porter to portray James Baldwin in biopic

'I intend to expand his legacy for generations to come': Billy Porter to portray James Baldwin in biopic
James Baldwin's story will be made into a biopic and Billy Porter will play him (Jamie McCarthy, Jenkins/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Billy Porter has landed the role of a lifetime as he is set to play the renowned author and civil rights activist James Baldwin in an upcoming biopic, according to reports. The announcement was made on Wednesday by Allen Media Group Motion Pictures. In addition to portraying the lead character in the film, he will also be involved in co-writing the script alongside Dan McCabe. The biopic will be based on the 1994 biography of James Baldwin, entitled 'James Baldwin: A Biography,' written by David Leeming.

In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Porter expressed his excitement for the role and shared his admiration for Baldwin. He said, "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."


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Porter on the verge of EGOT status

Porter is one step away from achieving EGOT status, having already won a Tony Award in 2013 for his role in 'Kinky Boots' and a Grammy Award for the musical's album. He made history in 2019 by becoming the first openly gay Black man to win an Emmy Award for his performance as Pray Tell in the FX series 'Pose.'


During his acceptance speech at the 71st Emmys, Porter paid homage to James Baldwin, saying, "James Baldwin said, '[it] took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this earth like I had the right to be here.'" Porter then continued, "I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right."

James Baldwin biopic

Baldwin, a celebrated author, and civil rights activist passed away at the age of 63 due to stomach cancer in 1987, as reported by The New York Times obituary. His renowned works, including 'Notes of a Native Son,' 'The Fire Next Time,' 'Go Tell it on the Mountain,' and 'If Beale Street Could Talk,' have made a profound impact on literature and society.


"We at Allen Media Group Motion Pictures are extremely passionate about sharing James Baldwin's phenomenal story with the world," producer Byron Allen expressed in a statement obtained by Variety. He continued, "Billy Porter and Dan McCabe's talent and commitment to amplifying James Baldwin's legacy and contributions are invaluable and unmatched for this unique and epic story." Porter, who recently appeared in the sports comedy 80 for Brady, has shown his dedication to the project, and his upcoming portrayal of Baldwin is highly anticipated. The biopic is set to showcase Baldwin's life and contributions, providing a platform to further spread his messages of equality and justice.

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 Billy Porter to portray James Baldwin in biopic