Allen Media Group film division to produce James Baldwin biopic starring Billy Porter

Porter and Dan McCabe have been tapped to write the screenplay, which will be based on the 1994 book, "James Baldwin: A Biography."

An official James Baldwin biopic is in the works from Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group Motion Pictures (AMGMP). Billy Porter and Dan McCabe have been tapped to write the biopic of the iconic American author and civil rights activist. The “Pose” actor is also set to star as Baldwin.

The upcoming film will be based on David Leeming’s 1994 book, “James Baldwin: A Biography.” AMGMP’s Byron Allen, Carolyn Folks, Jennifer Lucas, Matthew Signer and Chris Charalambous are onboard as executive producers. Porter and D.J. Gugenheim of Incognegro Productions join as producers.

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Billy Porter attends NBC’s “Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love” Birthday Special on March 2, 2023, at Avalon Hollywood & Bardot in Los Angeles. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“We at Allen Media Group Motion Pictures are extremely passionate about sharing James Baldwin’s phenomenal story with the world,” Allen, founder, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group — which also owns theGrio — said in a joint statement. “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.”

Baldwin is regarded as one of the most influential voices in American literature, having written works such as “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “Giovanni’s Room” and “The Fire Next Time.” Born in Harlem in 1924, Baldwin was an openly gay, Black man whose work often reflected the times in which he lived — focusing on race, sexuality and the politics of the day.

In the joint statement, Porter paid homage to 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,” he said. “I stand on James Baldwin’s shoulders, and I intend to expand his legacy for generations to come.”

Like Baldwin, Porter has made history as a gay Black man. In 2019, he became the first openly gay Black man to be nominated and win a leading actor Primetime Emmy Award for his work on “Pose.”

Byron Allen speaks at his 2023 Oscar's Gala. (Photo by Getty Images)
Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group Motion Pictures plans to produce a James Baldwin biopic starring Billy Porter as the author and civil rights activist. (Photo by Getty Images)

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