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Just one week before the start of LGBTQ History Month, in October, it’s been announced that Billy Eichner’s upcoming film, Bros, is making queer history in several big ways.
Not only is Eichner the first out gay man to co-write and star in his own major studio film, but, in another first, Universal Pictures announced on Thursday that Bros will feature an all-LGBTQ principal cast playing straight roles — flipping the usual, and controversial, Hollywood script. Further, Bros is the first gay romantic comedy from a major studio.
“I could not be more proud or excited about the historic nature of the all openly LGBTQ+ cast of Bros. After queer actors have spent decades watching straight actors capitalize both artistically and professionally by playing LGBTQ+ characters, it is a long overdue dream come true to be able to assemble this remarkable, hilarious cast,” Eichner said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news.
He continued, “And while Bros may be the first of its kind in several ways, my real hope is that it is only the first of many opportunities for openly LGBTQ+ ensembles to shine and show the world all we are capable of as actors, beyond just being the wacky sidekick, token queer or a straight movie star’s ‘gay best friend.’ And beyond all of that, this cast is f*cking hysterical and you’re going to love them.”
The Judd Apatow-directed film has been reported as a smart, swoony and heartfelt comedy about two two gay men — Eichner and Luke Macfarlane (Brothers & Sisters) “maybe, possibly, probably, stumbling toward love. Maybe. They’re both very busy.”
"This is the best thing EVER!" Eichner shared on Twitter about the news. "I could not possibly be more excited to tell you the ENTIRE main cast for my rom com BROS will be ALL openly LGBTQ+ actors!!! Yes, even in all the straight roles! This is a first for a major studio film. LET’S MAKE HISTORY!!!"
This is the best thing EVER! I could not possibly be more excited to tell you the ENTIRE main cast for my rom com BROS will be ALL openly LGBTQ+ actors!!! Yes, even in all the straight roles! This is a first for a major studio film. LET’S MAKE HISTORY!!! https://t.co/foLNecGlUU
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) September 23, 2021
Eichner wrote the script alongside Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, The Muppets Most Wanted), and stars also include TS Madison (Zola); Miss Lawrence (Empire, The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Symone (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Guillermo Diaz (Scandal, Weeds) and Guy Branum (The Game Show).
Eichner once called it a “miracle” that he’s found such mainstream success in Hollywood as an out gay man.
“No one was even pretending 20 years ago. They just said, ‘Oh, you're an openly gay man in comedy. Well, good luck on a gay cruise.’ The options were very limited,” he told Yahoo Life in June. “The idea of being able to make this very LGBTQ-centric rom-com and to really have my vision respected and appreciated, that seemed like a very foreign concept at the time.”
Eicher added that Bros was only “four weeks away from shooting” before the pandemic shut everything down — including productions. Thankfully, it ended up working out for the better.
“It gave me some time to stop and reflect on that project and the script and also life in general, for better or worse,” he added. “That did give us time to sit and think about our lives and how you want to spend your time.”
Bros is scheduled for release Aug. 12, 2022, by Universal Pictures.