The cast of the Billy Porter-directed LGBTQ+ teen drama What If? has finally been announced, and it is everything.
According to a report from Deadline, Eva Reign, Abubakr Ali, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Courtnee Carter and Kelly Lamor Wilson are set to star in the film.
What If? follows trans student Kelsa (Reign) during her last year of high school. She eventually crosses paths with fellow student Kahl (Ali), and the two navigate the ups and downs of their blossoming relationship.
Described as a coming-of-age teen drama, the movie has been said to be a mix between Booksmart and Love, Simon.
The film comes from Orion Pictures and is written by bisexual and bigender screenwriter, Alvaro García Lecuona.
Shortly after the announcement was made public, Reign took to Instagram to express her excitement.
“Big news y’all! super excited to announce that I’m starring in Billy Porter’s directorial debut WHAT IF?,” she said.
Ali echoed similar sentiments on his Twitter account, stating: “Muslims leading movies. Proud and grateful is an understatement. Eid Mubarak y’all.”
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Muslims leading movies. Proud and grateful is an understatement. Eid Mubarak y’all ✨🌙 https://t.co/1Vu8tdGDLR
— Abubakr Ali (@theAbubakrAli) July 20, 2021
The film will be Porter’s directorial debut after finishing his run as Pray Tell on the groundbreaking series, Pose.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this new space in Hollywood for telling all types of stories from all types of people,” the 51-year-old said in a statement.
“I am grateful to be in a position to usher some of these stories into the mainstream and I am humbled that heavy hitters like Christine Vachon and Alana Mayo have entrusted and empowered me in this insane time we all find ourselves in.”
Since relaunching back in August 2020 with a more inclusive and diverse team, Orion Pictures has dedicated itself to giving underrepresented voices and communities a platform to have their stories told.
Orion Pictures president Alana Mayo also expressed her excitement for the new film, stating: “We couldn’t be more excited to work with Billy Porter on his feature directing debut and are privileged that he, Alvaro, and the producing team behind this special film have entrusted us with their vision for this beautiful, contemporary love story.”
She continued: “What If? is perfectly emblematic of the ambitions we have for the new Orion Pictures: to tell stories about the totality of the human experience.”
We can’t wait to watch this LGBTQ+ love story come to life!