Everything we know about Luca Guadagnino's upcoming film, 'Queer'

Luca Guadagnino; Daniel Craig
Luca Guadagnino; Daniel Craig

With Challengers finally out in the world, we're already looking forward to Luca Guadagnino's next movie. The celebrated director has multiple projects in the works, but Queer is expected to be the next to be released. What do we know about it so far?

It's based on a novel.

Queer is based on a William S. Burroughs novel of the same name written in the 1950s but not published until 1985. It follows an American expatriate named Lee who becomes obsessed with a younger Navy serviceman, Allerton, that he meets in Mexico City. The story is based on Burroughs' own experiences, and is considered somewhat of a sequel to his 1953 novel, Junkie.

It has a fantastic cast.


In December 2022, it was announced that Daniel Craig would be taking on the role of Lee in Guadagnino's adaptation. Several months later, Outer Banks star Drew Starkey was officially cast as Allerton, shortly before production was slated to begin.

Craig was reportedly consulted on the casting, and told Guadagnino "That's the guy" once he saw Starkey's audition tape.

"I liked Drew from the moment I met him,” the James Bond star told GQ. “He’s such a wonderful, kind human being, and that was very obvious to me from the very start.”

Lesley Manville, Jason Schwartzman, and Henry Zaga will also appear in the film, although their roles are currently unknown.

It shares a screenwriter with 'Challengers.'

Guadagnino began working on Queer while Challengers, his recently released tennis movie starring Zendaya, Josh O'Connor, and Mike Faist, was still in production.

Screenwriter Justin Kuritzkes recently told RadioTimes.com that the director approached him to pen the adaptation while on set one day. "Luca gave me the book for Queer while we were on set for Challengers and said 'read this tonight and tell me if you want to write it,'" he recalled, "and I read it that night, and I told him I wanna write it and I was really honoured that he asked me."

It's been a long journey to the screen.

Just as Burroughs' novel took decades to be published, the adaptation has had a long and difficult road, as well.

Back in 2011, Steve Buscemi planned to direct a version of the film with a script from I'm Not There screenwriter Oren Moverman. It reportedly would have stared Guy Pearce, Ben Foster, and Kelly Macdonald.

Obviously, that never came to fruition, which may have something to do with the novel being difficult to adapt.

"It's not like one of those novels that's written for the screen or something," Kuritzkes told IndieWire. "It’s a pretty wild book, but the characters were there, and the story was there, and the point of view was there, the voice was there. And so it was a process of the meeting place between Burroughs’ voice and his point of view, and my voice and my point of view, and then Luca’s voice and his point of view, and trying to hold all that."

It may premiere this year.

World of Reel claimed to have intel back in January that Queer would premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May. However, the festival begins in two weeks (May 14) and runs through May 25, and no official announcement has yet been made.

Still, it's expected Queer will make its festival debut at some point this year, and we'll just have to eagerly await any details beyond that.