New rom-com Fire Island is a gay adaptation of Pride and Prejudice


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Image: Fox Searchlight

The first photos from new gay romantic comedy Fire Island, featuring writer-star Joel Kim Booster, SNL comic Bowen Yang and comedian Margaret Cho, have been released.

The long-awaited movie, out in the US in June, follows two gay men who travel to the titular gay mecca, off Long Island, for a week-long holiday of debauchery, cheap rosé and eclectic friends.

The movie stars Bowen Yang (above, centre) and Joel Kim Booster (pictured below) as well as Zane Phillips, James Scully, Matt Rogers, Tomas Matos, Torian Miller, and Margaret Cho.

Now a film, Booster said the project started as a TV pilot. It’s based on Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, a personal favourite of Booster’s.

He said he and his mother would watch the BBC miniseries of the Austen novel at least once a year.

Booster took the novel on his first trip to Fire Island with longtime friend Bowen Yang.

“I was reading it there with Bowen, and it just sort of clicked for me,” he told Vanity Fair.

“I turned to him and was like ‘I should write Pride and Prejudice set on Fire Island. Wouldn’t that be so funny?'”

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He did, and after some false starts the film is “something really, really special and unique and gay.”

“The fact that we did that feels miraculous, considering what we were up against,” he said.

Fire Island screenwriter-star says Jane Austen is an expert in shade

Joel Kim Booster said Jane Austen’s novel was a big influence on Fire Island, as well as 1995 Austen film interpretation Clueless.

“Of course Clueless was such a big movie for me growing up,” he told Vanity Fair.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it, from a time before I even understood most of the jokes.

“Jane Austen’s observations about the way people are awful to each other without being awful to each other… I was like, ‘Oh, my God. This is shade.

“This is what gay men do all the time.

Booster said Fire Island addresses the intersections of race, class, and dating as a friend group vacations together.

fire island movie gay romantic comedy hulu bowen yang joel kim booster margaret cho movie

“What happens when gay men are put together on an island and there are no straight people to oppress us? How do we oppress each other?” he said.

“I want people – especially gay men, especially queer people – to walk away from the movie happy that they’re gay.

“I want people to come away from this movie feeling the joy of our experiences.”

Fire Island arrives in the US on streaming service Hulu in June 3.

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