In case you’ve missed it, Gabrielle Union has been absolutely killing it lately. From signing on to produce George M. Johnson’s bestselling memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue to recently optioning Tamara Winfrey-Harris’s award-winning book The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women In America, she is taking critically important themes in today’s society and bringing them to the big—and small—screen.
On August 20, Union sold an originally scripted queer comedy tentatively titled To Be Real, to Amazon Studios. Grammy and Emmy award-winning actor/director/producer superstar Billy Porter has been slated to direct, and Ryan Shiraki (On My Block) wrote the original script that was sold during the pitch. Both Shiraki and Porter will be executive producers for the film.
To Be Real was part of a competitive bidding war with multiple offers before ultimately being sold to Amazon. The logline states: “To Be Real follows three queer friends who escape their hometown for Pride Weekend in New York City where they discover that life over the rainbow is an insane, raunchy, often divisive, but ultimately FIERCE non-stop party,” according to Variety.
Deadline reports that the film is a crossover between Superbad and Booksmart...but make it LGBTQ+. The original screenplay, written by Shiraki, is an “edgy, laugh-out-loud comedy” about the biggest, brightest party where they ultimately find themselves.
Union is very excited about this upcoming film according to a tweet from August 20. And she seems to have support from the general public—people are putting themselves out there for auditions in the comments and begging her to “Please make them [B]lack and allow their circle of friends to also be [B]lack 🙏🙏🙏🙏” per this Tweet.
Billy Porter announced his directorial debut last November with the feature-length film What If? which started shooting for Orion Pictures this summer as reported by Variety. The film, which also focuses on LGBTQ+ themes among teenagers, is heavily tilted towards the dramatic side. The coming-of-age movie follows two seniors, one being a young trans woman, who navigate being in a relationship in high school.
Porter made history in 2019 as the first openly gay Black man to win the Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy and is up for a second win this year for his character, Pray Tell. It has yet to be announced when the shooting for To Be Real will commence as Porter is still shooting What If? and Union’s other projects are still coming down the pipeline.