The Young King: Everything We Know So Far About The Michael Shannon Drag King Drama

Where are all the movies about drag kings? Despite a couple of massively popular shows like "RuPaul's Drag Race" and "Pose" and essential documentaries like "Paris is Burning," the wonderful world of drag spent decades as a largely underground phenomenon. It's arguably gone mainstream now, but the vibrant culture surrounding the world of people who perform masculinity for an audience, as opposed to femininity, is still mostly invisible on screen.

The upcoming movie "The Young King," though, is poised to put drag king culture on center stage. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the upcoming comedy-drama already has the support of GLAAD, while the CEO of Mister Smith Entertainment, David Garrett, says the company is proud to work on a movie that's "shining a light on the drag king scene, which has rarely, if ever, been explored on the big screen." So what's the scoop on "The Young King," and when should we expect to see it? Here's what we know so far.

When and where to watch The Young King

As of publication time, "The Young King" hasn't yet begun production, so it'll be a while until we get to see the film. It's expected to start filming in early 2023, and will be shot on location in Las Vegas. The movie also still needs to find distributors, which is typical for a project in development. Mister Smith Entertainment, which has worked on films like "The Girl on the Train" and "The Post," will reportedly be presenting the project to buyers for international rights at the American Film Market event in November. Meanwhile, the recently formed WME Independent will work on North American rights to the film.

All of this is an insider-y way to say that we'll know more soon about when and where "The Young King" will appear based on the distribution deals it ends up with. Based on its unique premise and great cast alone, I think the film seems like it could be a festival circuit hit, but it remains to be seen whether it will go that route, end up with a theatrical release, get a streaming deal, or some combination of these options.

What we know about The Young King's story

According to THR, "The Young King" will take place over the course of a weekend, when Jules (Kiersey Clemons) meets up with her estranged father Mick (Michael Shannon) in Las Vegas. Jules is an aspiring drag king who hopes to appear on stage at the biggest drag king event in the country. Her father apparently isn't happy about this, and to make matters worse, Jules ends up with her eye on a dancer (Barbie Ferreira) named Ronnie who counts Mick among her regulars.

Garrett calls the film a "fresh twist on a classic Las Vegas story," and while it's billed as a comedy-drama, the CEO also calls it "an incredibly emotional father-daughter story." Whatever the genre, "The Young King" sounds pretty riveting based on its logline alone. Familial dysfunction, shiny Las Vegas dreams, and an unorthodox romance are all great ingredients for a film, and I'm eager to see how they play out when anchored by some inspired casting choices.

What we know about the cast and crew of The Young King

As mentioned, the film will star Kiersey Clemons as aspiring drag king Jules, with Michael Shannon as her father and Barbie Ferreira as the dancer who catches both characters' attention. Clemons' most high-profile role is likely her turn as Iris West in "Justice League," but she's also put in great work leading the indie flick "Hearts Beat Loud" and the survival thriller "Sweetheart," after breaking out in 2015's "Dope." Ferreira, meanwhile, gained acclaim for her turn as teen cam girl Kat on "Euphoria," and has also made an impression in films like "Unpregnant" and "Nope."

The pair will join Oscar-nominated actor Shannon, who you've seen in everything from "The Shape of Water" to "Knives Out." While no other supporting castmates have been announced, the film does have a writer-director in place. Larin Sullivan, who wrote and directed a short of the same name last year, and has also made shorts like "Exposure" and "Dive," will be making her feature directorial debut with "The Young King." Sullivan also penned the script.

It sounds like the film will have a strong focus on music, too, as THR reports it's landed Justin Tranter as its executive music producer. In the past, the singer-songwriter has worked with musicians including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa, and Fall Out Boy. Tranter has writing credits on hits like Imagine Dragons' "Believer," DNCE's "Cake By The Ocean," and Janelle Monae's "Make Me Feel," among many others.

We'll keep you updated on any developments as "The Young King" heads toward production.