The rom-com renaissance is upon us, with a new wave of love stories hitting our screens. Recent hits like To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Set it Up, and Crazy Rich Asians have reinvigorated the genre for a new generation. Now, there's going to be a new addition to this rom-com wave. Billy Eichner is making a gay rom-com to be distributed by Universal Studios, which he announced on his Twitter on Tuesday.
Eichner is both writing and starring in the untitled movie, which means the signature sharp wit that we know from Eichner's Difficult People and Billy on the Street is going to be baked right into the project's DNA. This marks the first time an out gay man is both writing and starring in a major studio film. It'll be directed by Nick Stoller, who's brought audiences comedies like Neighbors and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. In addition to his shows Billy on the Street and Difficult People, Eichner can be seen on the Netflix series Friends from College. The series was actually created by Stoller, and it's where the two met and began their collaboration.
Judd Apatow, who's produced what feels like most of the TV and movie comedies you've watched in the last 15 years (from Superbad to Girls), will produce this movie. This movie is basically being made by comedy royalty, and so there's a very good chance it'll be your next favorite.
According to Deadline, the "comedy will center around two men who have commitment problems and are attempting a relationship." Traditionally, rom-com's feature heterosexual couples, so it's super refreshing to see a new rom-com that will center on two men. And not only is the lead character gay, but the actor playing him is gay as well. That's something that is rarely seen in mainstream movies, and fans on Twitter are thrilled it's happening now.
Eichner's movie will be the first major studio release with an LGBTQ lead since 2018's Love, Simon. Before that, the last major studio LGBTQ film was 1997's In & Out, according to Indie Wire. That's over 20 years without a gay lead in a major release; LGBTQ representation has been severely lacking. This is so important, because not only does it mean gay love stories are getting told, but they're also being told by the people they belong to.
Celebrities on Twitter are also celebrating the announcement of Eichner's next project. Michael Urie, who paved the way for stories about gay romance with his character Marc on Ugly Betty, offered some supportive words to Eichner:
Meanwhile, Chrissy Teigen promised to buy an entire theater's worth of tickets once the movie premieres:
Other fans on Twitter have noted that this new movie from Eichner falls in line with a new legacy of more inclusive romantic comedies that are created by queer people and people of color.
Eichner is not taking the importance of this movie lightly. He tweeted that he's "getting emotional" reading the messages about the project and said, "I will do my best not to let you down!"