Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Centropolis Entertainment’s Stonewall, written by John Robin Baitz and directed by Roland Emmerich. Roadside plans a fall release for the independently produced film starring Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman, and Jonny Beauchamp. Goldcrest Films is handling the International rights.
“Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall is an explosive, dramatic story set against one of the monumental events of the 20th Century, The Stonewall Riots,” said Roadside Attractions Co-President Howard Cohen. “Roadside is so proud to bring this stirring film to audiences.”
Emmerich said, “I was always interested and passionate about telling this important story, but I feel it has never been more timely than right now. I am excited to work with Howard, Eric and the team at Roadside to get this film to audiences across the country. They have a unique approach to handling movies like Stonewall.”
Less than 50 years ago, in 1969, being gay was considered a mental illness. Gay people could not be employed by the government. It was illegal for gay people to congregate and police brutality against gays went unchecked.
Stonewall is a drama about a fictional young man caught up during the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Danny Winters (Irvine) is forced to leave behind friends and loved ones when he is kicked out of his parent’s home and flees to New York. Alone in Greenwich Village, homeless and destitute, he befriends a group of street kids who soon introduce him to the local watering hole The Stonewall Inn; however, this shady, mafia-run club is far from a safe-haven.
As Danny and his friends experience discrimination, endure atrocities and are repeatedly harassed by the police, we see a rage begin to build. This emotion runs through Danny and the entire community of young gays, lesbians and drag queens who populate the Stonewall Inn and erupts in a storm of anger. With the toss of a single brick, a riot ensues and a crusade for equality is born.
Stonewall was shot in and around Montreal, including Lachine and Howick, Quebec. Emmerich and his production team re-created “the village” in Manhattan circa 1969 in a former train repair facility in Montreal. The elaborate set included the detailed, authentic recreation of the interior and exterior of the Stonewall Inn and the entire Christopher Street neighborhood. It also featured the largest printed backdrop ever created, which added in the final element of the skyline for both daytime and nighttime shots. During the filming of the riot scenes with over 500 extras in period costumes and the detailed recreation of the neighborhood, stepping onto the set was like taking a time machine back to New York City in the late 60s.