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Los Angeles, April 22 – Luca Guadagnino will next direct the William S. Burroughs adaptation ‘Queer’ with Hollywood star Daniel Craig and Drew Starkey.
Craig will be seen playing the renowned counterculture author’s alter ego, an outcast American expat who lives in Mexico, and Starkey starring as a younger man with whom he becomes madly infatuated, reports Variety.
‘Queer’ will also topline Lesley Manville, frequent Wes Anderson collaborator Jason Schwartzman; and Henry Zaga, according to inside sources.
The boldly ambitious indie film is set to start shooting this month at Rome’s refurbished Cinecitt Studios where the Mexico City-set movie will be filmed in its entirety.
Lorenzo Mieli’s Fremantle-owned Italian company The Apartment – the internationally expanding shingle behind Guadagnino’s Bones and Alla and Sofia Coppola’s upcoming ‘Priscilla’ – is lead producing ‘Queer’ in tandem with Guadagnino’s own Frenesy Film. Fremantle North America is also on board.
American playwright Justin Kuritzkes, who penned Guadagnino’s upcoming sexy comedy ‘Challengers’ starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Fast – which has now completed post – has adapted the Burroughs novel for the big screen, continuing his collaboration with the Italian director.
British designer Jonathan Anderson, who has shaken up the fashion world with his creations for Loewe and his subversive signature JW Anderson label, will also continue to collaborate with Guadagnino as costume designer on ‘Queer’ after handling the costumes on ‘Challengers.’
“It is one of my all time favourite books. And the film has everything – Mexico, lots of drugs, and Daniel Craig,a Anderson recently told The Guardian.
Written between 1951 and 1953 but not published until 1985, ‘Queer’ is Burroughs’s second novel after ‘Junkie.’
Set in decadent Mexico City of the 1940s, it’s the semi-autobiographical story of Lee who has fled from a drug bust in New Orleans. In Mexico City Lee wanders around the city’s clubs and bars populated by American expatriate college students, discharged soldiers, and other characters on the edge of society.
He becomes infatuated with a discharged American Navy serviceman named Allerton, a drug user, who, though indifferent to his advances, eventually relents – but only enough to make Lee’s sexual yearnings become even more of an obsession. Eventually they go on a trip to South America in search of a drug known as ‘Yage’ which Lee believes will make him psychic.
‘Queer’ will mark the most prominent film role to date for Starkey, 29, who is known globally for his role on ‘Outer Banks’ as Rafe Cameron, the handsome often violent teen with a killer streak, a cocaine addiction, and an identity crisis.