Outer Banks star Drew Starkey is in talks to star opposite Daniel Craig in Luca Guadagnino‘s next movie, which is an adaptation of William S. Burroughs‘ early novel Queer, three individuals with knowledge of the project have told Above the Line.
Queer is considered a quasi-sequel to Burroughs’ earlier novel Junkie, which was published in 1953. The short novel was reportedly written between 1951 and 1953, though it wasn’t published until 1985. Burroughs has said that it represents him off heroin.
Justin Kuritzkes is adapting the novel, which is centered around a man named Lee, who recounts his life in Mexico City among American ex-pat college students and bar owners surviving on part-time jobs and GI Bill benefits. Self-conscious and insecure, Lee is driven to pursue a young man named Allerton, who was based on a recently discharged American Navy serviceman from Jacksonville, Florida who befriended Burroughs in Mexico City.
As Above the Line first reported last week, Craig is attached to play Lee, while Starkey is in talks to play the role of Allerton, according to multiple sources. Allerton is based on a real person, Adelbert Lewis Marker, who died in 1998.
In 2011, Steve Buscemi was set to direct a feature adaptation of Queer that was written by Oren Moverman, and he even led a reading of the script at the Sarasota Film Festival with Stanley Tucci and Ben Foster, but the film ultimately never came to fruition. It should be noted that Guadagnino is currently seeking financing for his film, though with casting news coming quickly, I expect he has found a distributor who’s interested in footing the modest bill.
Craig has seemed eager to distance himself from his signature role as James Bond, and with a third Knives Out film at least two years away (Glass Onion hits Netflix on Dec. 23) expect Craig to pursue smaller, more intimate, riskier projects such as Queer, which will allow the actor to show off a nude side — excuse me, a new side — of himself.
Starkey is best known for his turn as Rafe Cameron on the hit Netflix series Outer Banks, which returns for Season 3 next year. His credits also include the acclaimed YA movies Love Simon and The Hate U Give as well as interesting dramas such as American Animals, Just Mercy, and The Devil All the Time. Most recently, Starkey appeared in Hulu’s Hellraiser reboot and Chris Pratt‘s Amazon series The Terminal List. He’s represented by the Gersh Agency, Luber Roklin Entertainment, and JTA Talent Agency.