Roland Emmerich is entering the awards season fray once more. The filmmaker behind such blockbusters as “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Independence Day” attempted to make a smaller, more serious film with 2011's “Anonymous.” That Shakespearean era tale was touted as a possible awards player before it debuted at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival to mostly negative reviews. Any hopes for prestige recognition were quickly dashed. Now, after segueing into more familiar territory with “White House Down,” Emmerich is returning with a slightly more personal tale, “Stonewall.”
Roadside Attractions announced today it had acquired the period drama for a release later this Fall (which pretty much means at least a Toronto debut). “Stonewall” is a fictional drama set around the real events that took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City during 1969. The Stonewall Riots found the gay community fighting back in a series of violent protests after a police raid at the small Greenwhich Village bar on June 28. Considered a pivotal moment in the history of Gay Rights, the event inspired another fictional drama also titled “Stonewall” which was released in 1995 and starred “Scandal's” Guillermo Díaz.
Emmerich's version is also independently financed, but features an impressive cast including Jeremy Irvine (“War Horse”), Caleb Landry Jones (“X-Men: First Class”), Joey King (“The Conjuring”), Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ron Perlman.
In a release, Roadside Attractions Co-President Howard Cohen noted, “Roland Emmerich's 'Stonewall' is an explosive, dramatic story set against one of the monumental events of the twentieth century. Roadside is so proud to bring this stirring film to audiences.”
The filmmaker added, “I was always interested and passionate about telling this important story, but I feel it has never been more timely than right now. I am excited to work with Howard, Eric and the team at Roadside to get this film to audiences across the country. They have a unique approach to handling movies like 'Stonewall.'”
This past weekend, the openly gay Emmerich was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 2015 GLAAD Media Awards. This honor is awarded “to an openly LGBT member of the entertainment or media community for his or her work toward eliminating homophobia.”
Emmerich is also currently working on the long awaited sequel to “ID4,” currently titled “Independence Day 2,” which is slated for a June 24, 2016 release.