Jeremy Irvine is a British actor who always seems to be on the cusp of breaking out internationally, but doesn’t quite manage to do so. The actor snagged the male lead in the big-screen version of War Horse and a 2012 adaptation of Great Expectations, and is drawing rave reviews for a supporting role in this April’s The Railway Man, also starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. Thankfully, his anonymity could soon change, as Irvine is now joining the cast of Stonewall, a new film from Independence Day director Roland Emmerich.
Although Emmerich’s career is most synonymous with laying the world to apocalyptic destruction (2012, The Day After Tomorrow), the director has also made historical dramas like The Patriot and Anonymous. Stonewall will be a passion project for Emmerich, who is openly gay and an activist for LGBT rights.
The title pays reference to the Stonewall Inn, a gay tavern in New York’s Greenwich Village that is now known mostly for a riot that broke out on June 28, 1969, when gay and lesbian patrons fought back against police who were raiding the bar. The events that evening galvanized the LGBT community in New York and created more awareness about the plight of gay and lesbians. On the first anniversary of the riots, the first Gay Pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Emmerich’s film will focus on the riots as a backdrop to telling a story about a young, homeless gay man’s political awakening during this period of revolution.
Tony award-winning playwright and Brothers and Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz penned the screenplay, which should quell the fears of moviegoers who may not be interested in seeing Emmerich tackle a more dramatic subject matter. Stonewall is also slated to have a much lower budget than any of the director’s blockbusters, meaning it will definitely be a smaller, more intimate film.
Stonewall will head into production in Montreal this spring, so stay tuned as we’ll likely have more updates for you in the near future.