Billy Eichner is set to “make history” with his forthcoming Universal Pictures rom-com Bros.
Not only is Eichner the first openly-gay man to write and co-star in his own major studio film, Bros also stars all-openly LGBTQ+ actors in the film’s main roles, and is the first gay rom-com from a prominent Hollywood studio.
Eichner, best known for voicing Timone in The Lion King (2019), excitedly shared the news on Twitter, calling the casting “the best thing ever”.
The comedian, who hosts popular game show Billy On The Street, added that all the heterosexual main characters will also be portrayed by LGBTQ+ actors.
Eichner will star as co-lead opposite Luke Macfarlane in this story about two gay men who are, according to the film’s description, “maybe, possibly, probably stumbling towards love. Maybe. They’re both very busy”.
Macfarlane came out as gay in 2018 during an exclusive interview with The (Toronto) Globe and Mail. He is best known for his role as Scotty Wandell on the American drama series Brothers and Sisters.
Macfarlane’s Wandell was, notably, also a gay character and married his on-screen partner Kevin Walker in the season finale of the hit show.
Other cast members of Bros include transgender actor TS Madison (who starred in indie hit Zola), gender non-confirming entertainer Miss Lawrence (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 alum Symone, Scandal actor Guillermo Diaz, and Billy On The Street writer Guy Branum.
In an exclusive statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Eichner said: “After queer actors have spent decades watching straight actors capitalise both artistically and professionally by playing LGBTQ+ characters, it is a long overdue dream come true to be able to assemble this remarkable, hilarious cast.”
Eichner added that “while Bros maybe the first of its kind in several ways”, he hopes “it is only the first of many opportunities for openly LGBTQ+ ensembles to shine and show the world all we are capable of as actors” beyond tired tropes and or token characters.
Fans on Twitter reacted to the news of Bros’ openly-LGBTQ+ main cast with excitement.
Everything about this makes me so happy!!!!congratulations @billyeichner!
— Dan Jinks (@JinksDan) September 23, 2021
Bros will be directed by Nicholas Stoller (who is also credited as the film’s co-writer with Eichner) and executive produced by Judd Apatow, Eichner and Josh Church.
It is slated for release on 12 August, 2022 in the United States.