Billy Porter is reportedly putting his talents to work to honor a cultural legend in a new Byron Allen-produced project.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the multihyphenate award-winner will pen and star in an upcoming feature based on the life and legacy of the legendary activist, cultural thought leader, author, and essayist James Baldwin.
“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,” Porter said in a statement. “I stand on James Baldwin’s shoulders, and I intend to expand his legacy for generations to come.”
Porter will write the film’s script alongside frequent collaborator and playwright Dan McCabe, basing it on author David Leeming’s 1994 biographical work, James Baldwin: A Biography.
Baldwin was a Harlem-born civil rights activist and writer who focused on Black identity through the perils of racism. He is perhaps most recognized from his novels Notes of a Native Son, Go Tell It on the Mountain, If Beale Street Could Talk, and his now-infamous live debate with Nikki Giovanni on the 1960’s variety show Soul. His philosophy and work was the center of Raoul Peck’s 2016 documentary I Am Not Your Negro and his writing has gone on to inspire work like Barry Jenkins’ 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk.
Porter will also co-produce the film through his Incognegro Productions alongside Allen’s Allen Media Group.
“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,” Allen said in a separate statement.