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For queers on film, 2023 was a pretty historic year. With Trace Lysette deservedly earning Oscar hype as a trans woman grappling with her mother’s dementia in Monica, a drag queen enacting revenge in the neo-noir thriller Femme and lesbian incels slash “untalented ugly gays” starting a feminist fight club in Bottoms, it was actually quite diverse for the LGBTQIA’s. (It’s no longer just death and despair, which is lovely.)

This promising trajectory continues into 2024. An intersex worker flees from the mob after a botched drug deal in Ponyboi, Will Ferrell embarks on a road trip with his best friend after she comes out as trans in Will & Harper and Kristen Stewart “ignites violence” with her bodybuilder lover in Love Lies Bleeding.

‘Rain On Me’ besties Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande will also continue to revive the soundtrack format as Harley Quinn and Glinda in their respective musicals Joker: Folie à Deux and Wicked, while Daniel Craig’s wrist will be limp in Luca Guadgnino’s upcoming drama, Queer. Read ahead for our most anticipated queer (and queer-adjacent) films of 2024.

Challengers (26 April)

Cast: Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, Mike Faist, Jake Jensen

Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadgnino returns with another queer romp this year in Challengers, a romantic sports dramedy starring Euphoria‘s Zendaya as Tashi, a tennis player turned coach who’s transformed her husband Art (Mike Faist) into a world champ. Tashi persuades Art, who’s now on a losing streak, to play a “challenger” event against his former bestie and Tashi’s former boyfriend, Patrick (Josh O’Connor). In the trailer, set to a remix of Rihanna’s kinky electro banger ‘S&M’, the trio can be seen engaging in a threesome. Here! For! This!

Cora Bora (TBA)

Cast: Megan Stalter, Jojo T. Gibbs, Manny Jacinto, Ayden Mayeri, Thomas Mann, Chrissie Fit, Andre Hyland, Chelsea Peretti, Margaret Cho, Darrell Hammond, Heather Morris

Known for her viral “hi gay” video and role as airhead assistant Kayla on Hacks, Megan Stalter is set to lead her own dramedy with Cora Bora. According to a synopsis: “Cora senses her open relationship is on the rocks. When the struggling musician and messy millennial goes home to Portland to win her girlfriend back, she realises it’s much more than her love life that needs salvaging.” With this unabashedly queer plot and Stalter’s signature brand of cringe deadpan comedy, as well as supporting players like Jojo T. Gibbs, Manny Jacinto, Chelsea Peretti, Margaret Cho and Heather Morris, Cora Bora has the potential to be the breakout queer hit of the year.

Desire Lines (TBA)

Cast: Aden Hamiki, Theo Germaine

Described as a “hybrid documentary”, Desire Lines centres on an Iranian-American trans man who “travels back in time to an LGBTQ+ archive to understand his sexuality. He encounters his past and present selves during an erotic journey of self-discovery.” Aden Hamiki stars in the lead role as Ahmad Arastood, while The Politician’s Theo Germaine plays a “20-something trans activist named Kieran”. Exploring themes of gender nonconformity, fetishization, transphobia, sexual racism and safe sex, Desire Lines had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2024. A theatrical and/or streaming date has yet to be announced.

Drive-Away Dolls (23 February)

Cast: Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Beanie Feldstein, Colmon Domingo, Bill Camp, Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal

In this lesbian road trip comedy, Margaret Qualley stars as an uninhibited free-spirit called Jamie who takes her uptight friend Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan) on a spontaneous adventure to Tallahassee. On the way, they cross paths with a “group of inept criminals”. Directed by Ethan Cohen, who also co-wrote with his wife Tricia Cooke, the cast of Drive-Away Dolls is for the gays; supporting performances include The Last of Us alum Pedro Pascal, aka the “internet’s boyfriend”, Euphoria’s Colmon Domingo and Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein. Matt Damon is here too, if that’s your kind of thing.

Fairyland (TBA)

Cast: Emilia Jones, Scott McNairy, Geena Davis, Cody Fern, Bella Murphy, Adam Lambert, Ryan Thurston, Maria Bakalova

Currently boasting a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Fairyland‘s cast is star-studded with the likes of Emilia Jones (CODA), Scott McNairy (True Detective), Geena Davis (Thelma & Louise), Cody Fern (American Horror Story), Maria Bakalova (Bodies Bodies Bodies) and singer-sognwriter Adam Lambert. Jones leads as Alyssa Abbott, with McNairy as her “poet and activist” father Steve, who comes out as gay. The film chronicles Alyssa’s journey in discovering a “world of artists and writers, but also the AIDS crisis when people around her contract the virus to which her father also falls victim”. You’ll need tissues for this one, probably.

The History of Sound (TBA)

Cast: Paul Mescal, Josh O’Connor

The History of Sound starts filming in March, so it’s not 100 per cent confirmed for this year. Its inclusion here is necessary, however, because the casting has sent social media into somewhat of a frenzy (and by ‘frenzy’, we mean horny, people are horny.) Based on Ben Shattuck’s book of the same name, the romantic war drama is led by All of Us Strangers’ Paul Mescal (!) and Josh O’Connor of God’s Own Country (!). Oliver Hermanus, director, describes it as “an unexpected love story that needs to be told”: “It is a journey through the life of America, across the 20th century and the traditions of American folk music, all seen through the bond between two men immersed in the history of sound.”

I Saw the TV Glow (TBA)

Cast: Justice Smith, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Helena Howard, Danielle Deadwyler, Lindsey Jordan, Fred Durst, Amber Benson, Michael Maronna, Connor O’Malley, Emma Portner, Danny Tamberelli, Phoebe Bridgers, Haley Dahl, Kristina Esfandiari, Jonathan Chacko, Caroline Polachek

Queer actors Justice Smith (Detective Pikachu) and Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical) are at the main players in I Saw the TV Glow, a horror film that follows the bond between two teenagers over a television series. “After it is mysteriously cancelled, their reality begins to blur,” the synopsis states. While it’s not been confirmed if the film will have queer themes, it’s inherently rainbow-hued thanks to the two aforementioned stars and supporting performances from Phoebe Bridgers, Lindsey Jordan (Snail Mail), Emma Portner and Amber Benson, who memorably played lesbian witch Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. According to reports, the film is very Buffy-coded, too, so we’re keeping our eye on this one.

Joker: Folie á Deux (4 October)

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Lady Gaga, Zazie Beetz, Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, Jacob Lofland, Harry Lawtey

Again, we’ve had no confirmation that the Joker sequel, subtitled Folie à Deux, will be queer. But the following points mean cinemas will be packed with many a queer: a) it’s a goddamn musical; and b) Lady Gaga, popular singer, is playing Harley Quinn (slash ‘Harleen Quinzel’). The Todd Phillips-directed musical thriller will take place after the events of the first film, which saw Arthur Curry (Joaquin Phoenix) become the titular villain of clownery when he murdered talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) live on television. After being imprisoned in Arkham State Hospital, he meets Dr Harleen, where they “fall madly in love with each other”. The synopsis reads: “District Attorney Harvey Dent begins to build a case against Arthur for his previous actions, forcing Harleen to take action in order to save her new partner in crime.”

Layla (TBA)

Cast: Bilal Hasna, Louis Greatorex, Safiyya Ingar, Terique Jarrett, Darkwah, Sarah Agha, Self Esteem, Baby

Directed by writer and performer Amrou Al-Kadhi, Layla stars Bilal Hasna as the titular character, a London-based drag entertainer who hides their career and non-binary identity from their Palestinian family – including their sympathetic sister Fatima (Sarah Agha). After causing a scene at a corporate Pride event, Layla forms an unlikely romantic bond with an executive called Max (Louis Greatorex). The romantic drama features appearances from singer-songwriter Self Esteem and Drag Race UK star Baby.

Love Lies Bleeding (8 March)

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Katy O’Brian, Ed Harris, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov, Dave Franco

From A24 and Film 4, Love Lies Bleeding is the second feature-length film from Rose Glass, who memorably received overwhelming acclaim for her 2019 psychological horror Saint Maud. Kristen Stewart plays a “reclusive gym manager” who falls in love with Jackie (Katy O’Brian), an “ambitious bodybuilder headed through town to Vegas in pursuit of her dream”. Their love, however, “ignites violence, pulling them deep into the web of Lou’s criminal family”. The romantic thriller also stars Ed Harris (Westworld), Jena Malone (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Anna Baryshnikov (Dickinson) and Dave Franco (Neighbors).

Ponyboi (TBA)

Cast: River Gallo, Dylan O’Brien, Victoria Pedretti, Indya Moore, Keith William Richards, Bryant Carroll, Jari Jones, Aphrodite Armstrong

“Unfolding over the course of Valentine’s Day in New Jersey, a young intersex worker must run from the mob after a drug deal goes sideways, forcing him to confront his past,” is the premise of Ponyboi, which is based on the lauded 2019 short film of the same name. River Gallo stars as the titular Ponyboi, with supporting performances from Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien, The Haunting of Bly Manor’s Victoria Pedretti and Indya Moore, who gained worldwide recognition for playing Angel Evangelista in Pose. 

Problemista (1 March)

Cast: Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton, RZA, Isabella Rossellini, Catalina Saavedra, James Scully, Laith Nakli, Spike Einbinder, Greta Lee, Larry Owens, Kelly McCormack, Greta Titelman, Megan Stalter

Directed, written and co-produced by Julio Torres, Problemista’s plot is as follows: “Alejandro [Torres] is an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador struggling to bring his unusual ideas to life in NY. As time runs out on his work visa, a job assisting an erratic art-world outcast becomes his only hope to stay in the country.” The impressive cast includes Oscar winner Tilda Swinton as the aforementioned outcast, Isabella Rossellini (Death Becomes Her), James Scully (Fire Island), Greta Lee (Past Lives) and Megan Stalter (Hacks). Problemista has received praise for Torres and Swinton’s performances, its exploration of immigration and its surrealist elements.

Queer (TBA)

Cast: Daniel Craig, Drew Starkey, Lesley Manville, Jason Schwartzman, Henry Zaga

Luca Guadgnino’s second film of the year, Queer is set in 1940s Mexico City and stars James Bond’s Daniel Craig as Lee, a man on the run from a drug bust in New Orleans. In Mexico, he becomes obsessed with Allerton (Drew Starkey), a discharged serviceman from the American Navy. As it’s an adaptation of William S. Burrough’s Queer, the film will presumably explore similar themes to the novel such as sex, paedophilia and drug abuse, so we expect this to be a heavy one.

I Wish You All The Best (TBA)

Cast: Corey Fogelmanis, Miles Guiterrez-Riley, Lexi Underwood, Alexandra Daddario, Cole Sprouse, Amy Landecker, Brian Michael Smith, Judson Mills, Shay Rudolph, Lisa Yamada, Harrison Cone

Mason Deaver’s celebrated novel I Wish You All The Best tells the story of Ben De Backer, a high school student who is thrown out of their parents’ home after coming out as non-binary. After moving in with their estranged sister Hannah (Alexandra Daddario) and her husband Thomas (Cole Sprouse), Ben is forced to unpack their trauma, survive their senior year and navigate a blossoming relationship with fellow student Nathan Allan. Girl Meets World star Corey Fogelmanis plays Ben with Miles Guiterrez-Riley of The Wilds fame as Nathan. Directed by Tommy Dorfman (13 Reasons Why), the cast is rounded out by Lexi Underwood (Little Fires Everywhere), Amy Landecker (Transparent), Brian Michael Smith (9-1-1: Lone Star), Judson Mills (Walker, Texas Ranger), Shay Rudolph (The Baby-Sitters Club), Lisa Yamada (All Of Us Are Dead) and Harrison Cone (Stage Fright).

Wicked (27 November)

Cast: Cynthia Erivo, Ariana Grande, Jonathan Bailey, Jeff Goldblum, Ethan Slater, Michelle Yeoh, Marissa Bode, Bowen Yang, Bronwyn James, Keala Settle, Aaron Teoh, Colin Michael Carmichael, Adam James

The long-awaited – we repeat, long – film adaptation of the legendary Broadway musical is finally here, and the cast is stacked. Led by queer icons Cynthia Erivo (Elphaba), Ariana Grande (Glinda) and Jonathan Bailey (Fiyero), Wicked – as you all know, or should know – is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz revolving around Elphaba and how she transforms from a talented student of the spellbinding variety to the Wicked Witch of the West. Also starring queer (and queer-adjacent) fan-favourites such as Michelle Yeoh as Madame Horrible, Bowen Yang as Pfannee and Keala Settle as Miss Coddle, the blockbuster is split into two parts – the first will be released 27 November, with the follow-up on 26 November 2025.

Will & Harper (TBA)

Cast: Will Ferrell, Harper Steele

Josh Greenbaum’s documentary follows actor and comedian Will Ferrell on a cross-country road trip with his close friend of 30 years, Harper Steele, after she comes out as a trans woman. Set to debut at the Sundance Film Festival 2024, Will & Harper is described as an “intimate portrait of friendship, transition and America”. With rise in hate crimes against trans people and conservative political leaders weaponizing trans rights, a documentary delicately detailing the trans experience and the friendship between a trans and cisgender person is needed right now. Hopefully, the inclusion of Ferrell means this won’t fly under the radar.

Visit here for our most anticipated LGBTQIA+ shows of 2024.