Film | Roland Emmerich | Stonewall

'Independence Day' Director Roland Emmerich Planning Movie About Stonewall Riots

Director Roland Emmerich is planning a movie about Stonewall, he tells Empire online:

Emmerich“I may want to do a little movie – about $12-14 million – about the Stonewall Riots in New York,” revealed Emmerich. “It’s about these crazy kids in New York, and a country bumpkin who gets into their gang, and at the end they start this riot and change the world.”

Emmerich says John Robin Bates is working on a script that follows the story of a homeless gay teen who finds his way to the Stonewall Inn and "gets caught up in the riots."

Emmerich says Bates owes him 20 more pages on the script.

Empire adds:

“I’ve got more and more involved in the Gay & Lesbian Centre in Los Angeles,” says Emmerich, “and I learned that 40% of homeless kids are gay. So things haven’t changed very much. But I put this together and said, I should make a movie about that, so it starts with a kid who gets thrown out of his home and ends up on the streets of the village, and becomes friends with all these kids. In a weird way, it shows that it’s still something that happens today.

“I read a lot about it and was so surprised,” says Emmerich of the process of discovery he's undertaken on the currently untitled movie. “It was the first time that gay people had shown the police that they should take them serious. And when the riot police came – this has always been fascinating for me – these kids formed a chorus line and sang ‘We are the village girls, we wear our hair in curls!’ It was such a cool thing.”

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  1. Do you mean Jon Robin Baitz, the famous playwright? And is the "country bumpkin" a real person or fictional? Is this an attempt to re-write history by inserting a white protagonist to an event that was largely lead by transgendered people of color?

    Posted by: downtownla | Apr 22, 2013 12:32:12 PM

  2. I hope there are no women in this movie. I hatez women. I'm so lonely.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 22, 2013 12:35:06 PM

  3. I'm fine with another Stonewall movie, but the one that exists called simply Stonewall, was excellent and I don't know if it can be topped.

    Posted by: Graphicjack | Apr 22, 2013 12:37:04 PM

  4. Will it be an epic blockbuster with lots of explosions, evil aliens, and a strong patriotic theme?

    Just asking.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 22, 2013 12:40:39 PM

  5. If there's a part for an older-than-middle-aged angry black drag queen I'm auditioning. And I'll get the f.ckin' part. you, Hagatha Hearne!

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 22, 2013 12:43:37 PM

  6. LOL @ Rick.

    Posted by: John | Apr 22, 2013 12:46:57 PM

  7. It sounds exactly like the Stonewall movie from the 90s. But I say if one of the top filmmakers of popcorn blockbusters wants to film a movie about the event, even if it overtly steals from the earlier movie, I say bring it on. The more visibility, the better. Most people don't know jack about this event, and I'm sure what most people know isn't true so it can only serve to educate a new generation about this important time.

    Posted by: Macguffin54 | Apr 22, 2013 12:49:05 PM

  8. Yeah , what they said. This sounds like a pretty well known, already existing movie, called Stonewall.

    Posted by: Critifur | Apr 22, 2013 1:20:26 PM

  9. I'm always up for a new take on a classic story. There are many angles and nuances to take in in a new telling.

    like a giant tidal wave!


    emmerich sure aint known for his subtlety, that's for sure, but maybe a new type of story will bring out a new type of storyTELLING in him.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 22, 2013 1:28:25 PM

  10. Jeff Goldblum will play a wise drag queen who uploads a virus onto the NYPD's police radios using an abacus!

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 22, 2013 1:33:58 PM

  11. 1. It is a myth that the riot was "largely lead by transgendered people of color."

    2. It is a myth that the first time bar patrons protested the police was at Stonewall. In 1967 there were several days of protest of a violent raid on LA's Black Cat bar, and patrons of LA Patch bar resisted police in 1968.

    3. While the book on which it's based is excellent, the recent PBS documentary "Stonewall Uprising" is rotten with false statements like "NO ONE was out before 1969" which would be news to those gays who were picketing the White House in 1965, and those LA bar patrons and supporters mentioned above. It also contains a lot of film footage which is implied to be from the nights of Stonewall-related riots when, in fact, none are. Some scenes are news footage from some kind of event where the participants are wearing winter coats which, of course, NO ONE would have been doing in the summer in NYC.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Apr 22, 2013 1:37:39 PM

  12. Mel Gibson will cameo as a Southern slave owner who is kind and sweet and doesn't really have "slaves" - just black folk he doesn't pay at all who work for him on his plantation because he's just so gosh-darn lovable!

    And then....just when you think it's safe...the WOLVES show up!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 22, 2013 1:43:53 PM

  13. What is a Michael Bedwell, and why is it always such a negative know it all?

    Posted by: Frank | Apr 22, 2013 1:53:35 PM

  14. Little Kiwi,

    don't mention Mel Gibson. You'll David Hagatha Hearne running for her Viagra pills so she can enjoy herself.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 22, 2013 2:01:20 PM

  15. Derrick, you get that part and I will queue up immediately. I hope this director remembers that it was street queens, trannies and 99% people of colour who fought back that night. THEY were the ones who finally said "ENOUGH!" To depict it any other way will be revisionist and dishonest.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Apr 22, 2013 2:02:28 PM

  16. You mention Mel Gibson, you'll make (or have) Hagatha Heane running for her Viagra pills.

    Did you see Mel Gibson at the Golden Globes? Damn, he looked bad. No Hollywood star should be allowed to leave the house looking like that.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 22, 2013 2:04:50 PM

  17. Yeah, I was about to say.

    JON ROBIN BAITZ. Think Brothers and Sisters.

    Posted by: Jerry | Apr 22, 2013 2:07:40 PM

  18. If this film gets made I hope it stars actual LGBT actors.

    If it is low budget then there's less of a need for 'brave' straight actors to steal LGBT roles.

    We're constantly told that LGBT actors must stay closeted to protect their ability to make money for the studios.

    If this movie gets made then it needs to star out of the closet actors.

    Posted by: MaryM | Apr 22, 2013 2:41:10 PM

  19. @Michael Bedwell. You espouse your ignorance with great conviction.

    Further more, the PBS/American Experience documentary movie "Stonewall Uprising" was an excellent, if incomplete, account of the events that occurred.

    You can watch it online for free at:

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Apr 22, 2013 4:00:27 PM

  20. The HBO Documentary film "Vito" on the life of Gay rights activist Vito Russo is an excellent companion movie to "Stonewall Uprising".

    It will be released on DVD April 30.

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Apr 22, 2013 4:12:08 PM

  21. I can't wait for this because I know there will be either giant robots or aliens hanging out at the Stonewall.

    Posted by: jaragon | Apr 22, 2013 5:18:22 PM

  22. We're going to find out that Judy Garland didn't die, she was whisked off to some foreign planet by a visiting spaceship of multi-armed creatures who heard her voice though the vastness of space and just had to have her for their own. They left us Godzilla in the shape of Anita Bryant whom they had grown tired of.

    Posted by: Clyde | Apr 22, 2013 6:11:19 PM

  23. @ Dearcomrade: what I wrote is DOCUMENTED by David Carter in his definitive book "Stonewall" [despite the wreaking of many of the facts contained therein by the preposterous excesses of the PBS abortion], and simply looking at the photographs taken of participants after the first night's riot in which the majority are neither trans nor of color. Carter discusses those who were homeless at length, but refutes the myth that most were of color.

    While Carter writes that: “the first hostile act outside the club occurred when a police officer shoved one of the transvestites, who turned and smacked the officer over the head with her purse, [and] the cop clubbed her, and a wave of anger passed through the crowd, which immediately showered the police with boos and catcalls, followed by a cry to turn the paddy wagon over,” his [and earlier authors’] consensus is that the true spark was the resistance of a “butch dyke” that lasted “between five and ten minutes. ... a woman—possibly this same lesbian—urged the gay men watching her struggle to help her: ‘Why don’t you guys do something! ... As the heroic fight by the lesbian who had twice escaped the car neared its end, the crowd erupted. [A witness wrote] that the woman’s fighting ‘set the whole crowd wild—berserk!’ Both the ‘Voice’ reporters are agreed that it was the lesbian’s struggle with the police that ignited the riot. Truscott wrote: ‘It was the moment that the scene became explosive’. Smith’s account pinpoints the policeman bodily throwing her inside the [police] car on the third and final attempt to put her into the vehicle as the moment ‘the turning point came’.“

    In addition to homeless gay youth, Carter ALSO credits “middle-class” gay men with participating. “[M]ost men who went [to the Mafia-owned bar] were conventionally masculine, but there was a considerable minority of men who ran the gamut from men effeminate in their mannerisms, to scare or flame queens, to a few transvestites and some transsexuals.”

    “Scare queens or flame queens…practically became nonexistent not long after 1969. ‘[They] were very similar to the character Emory in “The Boys in the Band”: they were supereffeminate, hair would be teased, they would wear eye makeup, Tom Jones-type shirts, maybe hiphuggers, bright colors. ... So as far as the Stonewall being all these drag queens, no, they were flame queens.”

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Apr 22, 2013 6:22:23 PM

  24. Don't say bad things about Jon Robin Baitz due to Brothers and Sisters. He had so much network interference that they changed the show constantly to make it more "family friendly" to follow Desperate Housewives. They dumbed down his ideas, his characters, his plotlines - He wanted to do a show about a son returning from Iraq suffering from PTSD, a mother reacting to aging, a father who died and left secrets and a brother who was closeted and dealing with coming out. Instead it was a train wreck despite the great cast. He quit because of it. Left a successful show because it lost it's soul quickly.

    Posted by: Eric in Chicago | Apr 22, 2013 6:43:05 PM

  25. Guillermo Diaz. Frederick Weller. Duane Boutte. All of them gave the performances of their lives in the 90's "Stonewall." There are also numerous excellent documentaries about it. This story does not need to be redone by a hack like Emmerich.

    Posted by: Dback | Apr 22, 2013 8:47:32 PM

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