‘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.”


  1. downtownla says

    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?

  2. Graphicjack says

    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.

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    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.

    F.ck you, Hagatha Hearne!

  4. Macguffin54 says

    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.

  5. says

    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.

  6. Michael Bedwell says

    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.

  7. says

    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!

  8. jamal49 says

    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.

  9. Derrick from Philly says

    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.

  10. MaryM says

    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.

  11. Clyde says

    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.

  12. Michael Bedwell says

    @ 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.”

  13. Eric in Chicago says

    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.

  14. Dback says

    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.

  15. Jon says

    Jeeze, guys, lighten up. Are any of you around some of these gay kids in their early 20’s nowadays? Many of them don’t seem to know of any movies or history that happened before the year 2000. A new movie about the Stonewall Riots reaching that audience should be welcomed and appreciated. I am in my 40’s and it shocks me how many people 10 years younger than me had no knowledge about Harvey Milk before “Milk” came out and got attention. Of course the previous versions of these stories exist in other forms, and maybe younger audiences will find them after seeing this one. Do we need a remake of “Showgirls?” Probably not. Could we use another “Stonewall” flick? Absolutely. This film maybe isn’t for “Us”. It is for “Them”. This is how we change opinions and gain acceptance. I say, go for it. Bring the story to more people. “Stonewall”, made almost 20 years ago will not make the impact on a modern audience the way a new film will.

  16. Arjay says

    someone SHOULD do this movie…but NOT on a $12 million budget. I feel the movie could and should be epic with more resources invested in it because the story is captivating.

  17. says

    David Carter, author of Stonewall, speaks about Marsha Johnson in this documentary:

    Pay It No Mind – The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson –

    — Marsha, what a trip. She was something else. I vividly remember seeing her back in the 70’s & 80’s on Christopher Street. Kids would point at her in awe with bulging bug-eyes saying, “See that crazy drag queen over there?” I would respond, “Well honey, she started the Stonewall riots.” The listener’s mouth without fail would drop agape, because she was truly a sight to see. Then, after that, all the up and coming queens whenever we saw her would pause & genuflect as she made her way along the cobblestone streets of Greenwich Village. She is an undisputed icon. She’s the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sphinx all rolled up into one divine ball.

    J. Walls

    This feature-length documentary focuses on revolutionary trans-activist, Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson, a Stonewall instigator, Andy Warhol model, drag queen, sex worker, starving actress, and Saint.
    “Pay It” captures the legendary gay/human rights activist as she recounts her life at the forefront of The Stonewall Riots in the 1960s, the creation of S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the ’70s, and a New York City activist throughout the ’80s and early ’90s.
    Through her own words, as well as in-depth interviews with gay activist Randy Wicker, former Cockettes performer Agosto Machado, Author Michael Musto, Hot Peaches founder/performer, Jimmy Camicia, and Stonewall Activists Bob Kohler, Danny Garvin, Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, and Martin Boyce, Marsha’s story lives on.

    This documentary screened in 2012 at the IFC theater in New York, the British Film Institute in London, and La Mutinerie in Paris France. You should see it.

Leave A Reply