Billy Porter Makes Film Directorial Debut with 'What If?'

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday November 20, 2020

Billy Porter
Billy Porter  (Source:Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Billy Porter will make his film directorial debut with the high school coming-of-age film "What If?," Entertainment Weekly reports.

Written by Alvaro García Lecuona, "What If?" finds high school senior KHAL posting online about his crush, trans girl Kelsa. When the internet encourages tentative KHAL to pursue Kelsa, as EW states, the two navigate a relationship that neither could have expected. Of the film, Porter told Deadline:

"I'm thrilled to be part of this new space in Hollywood for telling all types of stories from all types of people. I am grateful to be in a position to usher some of these stories into the mainstream and I am humbled that heavy hitters like [producer] Christine Vachon and [President of Orion Pictures] Alana Mayo have entrusted and empowered me in this insane time we all find ourselves in."

"What If?" will be the first feature from Orion Pictures since relaunching, and the feature was included on the first annual GLAAD list of "the most promising unmade LGBTQ-inclusive scripts in Hollywood."

While this is Porter's first directorial effort in film, he has staged a number of productions with Boston's Huntington Theatre Company over the past few years, including "The Colored Museum," "Topdog/Underdog" and the premiere of "The Purists" last season.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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