Not Okay star Dylan O’Brien is set to star in the upcoming LGBTQ+ film Ponyboi.

The movie, which Esteban Arango directs, follows the emotional coming-of-age journey of the titular character – who is described as an “intersex runaway” living in New Jersey.

“He works at a laundromat and hustles as a sex worker. But after a mysterious encounter with a man from his dreams, he learns that perhaps he is worthy of leaving his seedy life in New Jersey behind,” the official synopsis reads.

Alongside O’Brien’s involvement, writer/director River Gallo is set to play the titular role, with Pose’s Indya Moore and The Haunting of Bly Manor star Victoria Pedretti rounding out the cast.

Back in November, Gallo announced that the film officially wrapped in a heartfelt Instagram post.

“That’s a wrap on PONYBOI, my very first feature film I wrote and starred in. I am honored and humbled by all the incredible artists that have come on board to fully realize my chaotic little Y2K New Jersey intersex fever dream,” they wrote.

“Particularly my boy and leader of our ship @esteban_arango, who brought life to my words and directed with such compassion, care, love, badassery, and truly saw me. Love you, Este.


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“Making this film was an actual miracle and an act of God. I cannot wait for the world to see this, and for this film to be a game changer in the cannon of intersex and trans art. THIS PONY IS OFF TO THE RACES Y’ALL.”

In addition to their heartfelt post, some of the film’s crew also released an array of behind-the-scenes photos – which featured O’Brien in bloody makeup, Pedretti in a pregnancy suit and Moore in a showstopping ensemble.

The forthcoming feature is based on the critically acclaimed 2019 short film of the same name – which Gallo also co-directed and wrote.

In a 2020 interview with Subvrt magazine, the talented creator revealed that Ponyboi’s story stems from their experience growing up in New Jersey.

“It began with my passionate yet complicated relationship with my home state New Jersey. New Jersey has always been my biggest muse, in that much of my trauma growing up intersex is rooted there,” they explained.

“Most of my life, I dreamed of running away from New Jersey and all the painful memories I experienced there. As I got older and discovered my intersex identity, I began to appreciate and be grateful for what those experiences taught me.

“I cultivated a reverence for that highway heaven and all the affliction and loneliness I had a feeling like an outsider in my teen years. However, being a misfit can be one’s greatest gift.”

As of this writing, a release date for the film has yet to be announced.


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