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How Billy Eichner’s Film Makes Queer Storytelling History

Universal Studios is ready to make history. by Billy Eichner Brothers is the first major studio film to have an all-LGBTQ+ main cast and focus entirely on a queer main story. Written and directed by Eichner and produced by Judd Apatow, the film is a major step towards equality and representation in mainstream cinema and hopefully inspires other studios to do the same.

Brothers stars Billy Eichner and recently released its first trailer. It’s the first time an openly gay man has written and starred in his own major studio film, and it features an all-LGBTQ+ cast. The film is also rated R, which is in line with other Apatow-produced comedy films that focus on adult relationship dramas, such as Bridesmaids and Rail accident, films that themselves changed the game. For Eichner, it’s a big step towards diversity in big-budget cinema.

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In a letter accompanying the trailerEichner confessed that although it took a long time to get Brothers released, he can’t help but be excited about what it means for future major Hollywood productions: “It’s still incredibly exciting to me – and a real sign of progress – that the same studio making movies as jurassic world and The fast and the furious Also releasing this R-rated gay rom with an all-LGBTQ+ cast, and with as much passion and enthusiasm as they release these other movies.”

“I wish we had a movie like Brothers when I was a kid,” he wrote, “but I’m so excited and proud that this day has finally come!” Netflix has been the leading streaming platform producing TV series with queer themes for mainstream audiences, like Heart strokewhich draws a parallel with Eichner’s words by portraying a story that reassures young LGBTQ+ adults growing up with their sexuality in school. Heart stroke brought a similar feeling to many LGBTQ+ people around the world, especially those who grew up without any on-screen queer role models.

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Most of the great queer-related feature films are independent films that make the rounds at festivals but don’t really reach a wider audience. Brokeback Mountain became perhaps the biggest audience of them all by featuring two major Hollywood stars, despite most of its production team not identifying as LGBTQ+. Hollywood needs such projects to be led by those who have lived these stories themselves, like Eichner, who wants to balance comedy with authenticity in Brothers.

“Our friendships are different. Our sex lives are different. Our relationships are different,” his character states in the trailer while saying he wants the movie to be accessible to everyone. If successful, Brothers may expand into other genres and perhaps inspire other studios to enable more and better queer storytelling in blockbuster films. “I wanted to make a movie that was authentic for the LGBTQ+ people that the movie is about,” he concludes, “and who have been so deeply underserved by Hollywood over the years, especially the major movie studios.”

Opening in theaters September 30 and directed by Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors), Brothers is the story of Bobby (Eichner) who falls in love with Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), and their journey through love and commitment issues.