After premiering Off-Broadway in 1968, Mart Crowley’s trailblazing The Boys In The Band was adapted into a film by William Friedkin and revived on Broadway in honor of its 50th anniversary. Later this month, the star-studded cast of that production, which included Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons and Girls’ Andrew Rannells, will reunite on Netflix for a film adaptation from original director Joe Mantello. Ryan Murphy, he of American stories of both horror and crime, is a producer.
Today, Netflix shared a trailer for the movie that highlights that incredible cast, which also counts Zachary Quinto, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Matt Bomer in its ranks.
Set in New York City in the late ‘60s, the ensemble piece follows a group of gay friends whose identities, both emotional and sexual, fall under the microscope during a rowdy birthday party. Upon its premiere, the play was praised for its frank portrayals of gay life, but in the subsequent years it was also criticized by many gay critics and artists. As this New York Times piece unpacking its legacy notes, playwright Edward Albee once called it “a highly skillful work that I despised” because it “did serious damage to a burgeoning gay respectability movement.” Mantello, however, defends the work for its galvanizing impact on gay storytelling: “The people who criticize the play have the luxury to do so because of the play.”
You’ll be able to weigh in for yourself when the film hits Netflix on September 30.