The story centers on a high school senior posting on social media about his crush on Kelsa, a trans girl at his school, resulting in the internet encouraging him to pursue the relationship. The two then navigate a senior year relationship that neither of them could have expected.
Producers are Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa on behalf of Killer Films (“First Reformed”) along with Andrew Lauren and D.J. Gugenheim on behalf of Andrew Lauren Productions (“The Spectacular Now”). The project marks the first film under MGM and Killer Films recently announced first-look deal.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this new space in Hollywood for telling all types of stories from all types of people,” Porter said. “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.”
MGM re-launched its Orion Pictures in August as a means to amplify underserved voices and hired veteran executive Alana Mayo as president of the label.
Mayo said in a statement, “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. ‘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.”
Porter won an Emmy in 2019 for lead actor for his role on FX’s “Pose” and was also nominated this year. He originated the role of Lola in the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots,” for which he won a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards, as well as the Grammy for best musical-theatre album.
García Lecuona is currently developing a horror project called “No Me Sigas” in Mexico, a project with Bazelevs, as well as a half-hour TV show with Atlas Entertainment. Killer Films’ producing credits include “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Still Alice,” “Carol,” “Far From Heaven,” “I’m Not There,” “One Hour Photo,” “Kids” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Additionally, Killer Films executive produced Todd Haynes’ five-episode HBO miniseries “Mildred Pierce.”
Porter is represented by CAA and Industry Entertainment. García Lecuona is represented by APA and Vision Entertainment. The deal was brokered in a competitive situation by Endeavor Content’s Deb McIntosh and Abe Bengio and with David Boyle and Bethany Haynes on behalf of ALP and Killer respectively.