Boys in the Band

Ryan Murphy, the prolific writer/producer/director of Glee and American Horror Story who signed one of the biggest production deals in television history with Netflix last year, has lined up another project for the streaming service.

He’ll produce a film adaptation of The Boys in the Band, a 1968 play that was revived on Broadway in 2018 with a cast that included Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart), and more. Those actors, and the rest of their co-stars from the Broadway revival, will reprise their roles in the film, which is heading to Netflix next year.

Written by playwright Mart Crowley, The Boys in the Band was one of the first plays to openly and proudly tell a story about gay men during a time when ignorance, fear, and prejudice precluded a lot of those stories from being told. The plot centers on a group of gay men who gather in a New York City apartment to celebrate one of their birthdays, and the initially light mood gets progressively nastier as the alcohol flows, culminating in a party game that reveals a hidden truth.

The play originally debuted off-Broadway in 1968, but Murphy was the one who mounted last year’s Broadway revival. Parsons, Quinto, Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesus, Tuc Watkins, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Brian Hutchison shared the stage together and they’re all officially coming back for the Netflix movie, and Joe Mantello, the two-time Tony Award winner who directed plays like Wicked, Glengarry Glen Ross, and the Broadway version of The Boys in the Band, is returning to direct the movie.

“The Broadway cast of BOYS was so important to me, and as equally groundbreaking as Mart Crowley’s seminal work,” Murphy said on Instagram. “Everyone in the cast was out and proud…and feeling so blessed to mark the 50th anniversary of Mart’s landmark play…I will be producing the film with David Stone and Ned Martel. Look for THE BOYS on Netflix in 2020.”

The movie begins filming this summer. In the meantime, Murphy’s new show The Politician debuts on Netflix this September, he’s developing the Broadway musical The Prom into a movie, and he’s also working on Ratched, a TV prequel about the villainous nurse character from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Here’s a video of the cast talking about the power of the story from January 2018, before the Broadway run began:

The Boys in the Band will arrive on Netflix sometime in 2020.

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