After the recent success of the LGBT drama, “Somewheres Over the River,” the internet is already asking the question: “How can a movie about a gay relationship be a gay and lesbian movie?”
The answer is not that complicated, says director Chris Lee.
In “Sudden Death,” Lee tells Yahoo!
Movies, the relationship between the protagonist and his best friend, a gay man named Chris, is about the same as a heterosexual one.
“In that relationship, we are not trying to push people out of the closet,” he says.
“We are not asking people to live in fear of what they might be thinking about.
That is a different question.”
Lee says that, like the gay community in general, the gay film community in particular tends to be very sensitive and reserved.
“Most of the gay films that are made, I think, have a very hard time getting made,” he explains.
“I think that that is because of the stigma that is associated with homosexuality.
If you are going to make a movie that has gay characters, you have to have a certain amount of sensitivity.
And a very strong character like Chris can’t be an easy character to be sympathetic to because of that.”
While Lee has not yet had any LGBT films made, he’s certainly had the chance to watch his own work.
“The last time I saw ‘Sudden Murder’ was when it was on Broadway, and it was my first Broadway show,” he tells Yahoo!.
“So it was a real shock for me to see it being used to promote a movie.”
The fact that gay characters are portrayed as the main characters, in contrast to straight ones, is a very different matter.
“There’s an element of that that you have seen before,” says Lee.
“You don’t have to see this movie to know that there are gay characters.
You have to read a gay book to understand what gay characters can do.”
And if the LGBT community has been trying to create more gay-friendly movies, Lee says, “The people who are doing it are actually making the films that make people uncomfortable.
They are the ones who are making the movies that make the people uncomfortable.”
The Hollywood Reporter reached out to the producers of “Severance” and asked them about their feelings on the issue of gay and straight characters in gay-oriented movies.
“Swansea City” is one of the movies currently in production, and a spokesperson for the company told The Hollywood Reporter that “the film will be in its first year, and we do not have a stance on the topic of gay or straight representation in LGBT films.”
While many Hollywood studios have been supportive of LGBT representation in their films, there are still many studios that have not been so forthcoming.
“No matter what happens in the film industry, it is not a Hollywood-created industry,” says Jack McDevitt, co-creator of the upcoming film “Mountain Man.”
“There are a lot of good gay filmmakers working in the entertainment industry.
But there are so many gay filmmakers that are doing really good work that are not being shown to the public.”
While McDevit says he hopes “Sawney” will be “a very positive portrayal of gay people and their lives,” he doesn’t think it will be as much of a departure from the work that he’s seen.
“It’s not a movie like ‘Tickled,'” McDevity says.
“Sawnay” is scheduled to be released in 2019.
Follow Josh on Twitter.