EXCLUSIVE: James Earl Hardy Speaks For The First Time On Upcoming 'B-Boy Blues' Film Adaptation
The internet was abuzz on Tuesday as news broke about the upcoming film adaptation of author James Earl Hardy's groundbreaking 1994 novel "B-Boy Blues." The upcoming adaptation will serve as the feature-film directorial debut of openly gay actor and activist Jussie Smollett.
According to Variety, the film will start production on Oct. 17 and is financed by SuperMassive and Tom Wilson, a Cleveland-based investor who funds independent, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC films. Smollett is a producer, along with author Hardy, Frank Gatson, Sampson McCormick and Madia Hill Scott.
“B-Boy Blues,” a staple story within the LGBTQ+ community, follows the relationship of 27-year-old journalist Mitchell Crawford and 21-year-old bicycle messenger Raheim Rivers, who meet at a gay bar in Greenwich Village during the summer of 1993. Rivers is known as a “B-boy” or “banjee boy,” which is a term that originated in ballroom culture to describe someone with a tough exterior. However, as Crawford gets to know Rivers, he discovers that though he is a loving father to his 5-year-old son, he has a history of violence.
In his first media statement since news of the film broke, Hardy spoke exclusively with Living Out Loud 2.0 about casting and the long journey to bring "B-Boy Blues" to the big screen.
"The film is still in the pre-production stage, so casting isn't set," said Hardy.
"It's been a long time in the making—literally a quarter of a century—so to say I am overjoyed would be an understatement. As Raheim aka Pooquie would exclaim: 'I feel better than jood!' It's also bittersweet: one of my best friends, Andre Sydnor—the man who graciously surrendered the term he created, "jood," to Raheim—made his transition last weekend. But I know his spirit will be watching over and guiding us. Jussie shares the vision, I have faith in his talent and in him, and we are going to make magic, and history together."
Openly gay comedian and friend to Living Out Loud 2.0, Sampson McCormick, who will serve as co-producer of the film, also took to social media to share his excitement, writing in a post on Facebook: "I wasn’t gonna say anything till we were done—but the news is out.
Very honored to announce that James Earl Hardy’s legendary black gay love story “B-Boy Blues” is headed to the big screen, and I’m co-producing the story alongside my friend, Jussie Smollett, Mr. Frank Gatson, and the very wonderful Mr. Hardy, himself.
Can’t wait till y’all see what we’re working on. Our stories matter!!!"
What an incredible way to cap off the 25th anniversary of the release of the novel that impacted the lives of so many Black same gender loving men in the 90s through the present day. We can't wait to see "B-Boy Blues" on the big screen!