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The Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Films of 2022

From Billy Eichner's gay rom-com to a new Whitney Houston biopic, 2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for queer cinema.

Main image: Bros star and co-writer Billy Eichner.

Queer cinema is more diverse than ever, with 2022’s slate of forthcoming films depicting LGBTQ+ characters in a variety of genres. These movies include a groundbreaking rom-com from Billy Eichner, a new Whitney Houston biopic, and a documentary about a transgender woman who participated in a pioneering trans research study.

Below, read up on some of the most anticipated queer films expected to premiere in 2022.

Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back

In this lively documentary about Maurice Hines, the gay entertainer talks about being out for his entire career; his sometimes-turbulent relationship with his younger brother, Gregory Hines; and what it was like to be a gay adoptive parent before it was legal in most states. Directed by John Carluccio, Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back won the Metropolis Award for documentaries centered in New York City at DOC NYC in 2019.

Out January 5, 2022 on digital and VOD; in theaters and premiering on Starz in February 2022

The Fallout

After experiencing a mass shooting at her California high school, queer student Vada Cavell (Jenna Ortega) tries to hide her depression. While coping with this trauma, Vada grows distant from her gay best friend Nick Feinstein (Will Ropp), who has become an activist against gun violence. Vada also becomes romantically attracted to schoolmates Mia Reed (Maddie Ziegler) and Quinton Hasland (Niles Fitch), who hid in a school bathroom with her during the shooting. Written and directed by Megan Park, The Fallout had its world premiere at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival and took home multiple awards.

Out January 27, 2022 on HBO Max

Catch the Fair One

Real-life boxer Kali Reis makes her feature-film acting debut in this brutal crime thriller. She stars as down-and-out queer boxer Kaylee Uppeshaw, who goes on a dangerous quest to get revenge on sex traffickers whom she suspects have kidnapped her missing sister. Written and directed by Josef Kubota Wladyka, Catch the Fair One won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.

Out in theaters, digital, and VOD on February 11, 2022

Great Freedom

In this drama set in post-World War II Germany, homosexuality is illegal, and Hans Hoffmann (Franz Rogowski) is arrested and imprisoned many times over several years for being gay. During his time in prison, Hans becomes intimate with his cellmate Viktor (Georg Friedrich), who’s serving a life sentence for murder. Great Freedom won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and is Austria’s entry for the 2022 Academy Awards category of Best International Feature Film.

In theaters March 4, 2022

Bros

This groundbreaking comedy from Universal Pictures is the first major-studio film to have a cast of all openly LGBTQ+ stars. Not much of the Bros plot has been revealed so far, but we know that Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane are playing the two central characters, who are committed to trying to have a romance with each other. Eichner, who co-wrote the Bros screenplay with director Nicholas Stoller, is the first openly gay man to co-write and star in a major studio film. Other out cast members include Bowen Yang, Harvey Fierstein, Dot-Marie Jones, Ts Madison, Miss Lawrence, Guillermo Diaz, Jim Rash, Amanda Bearse, and Peter Kim.

In theaters August 12, 2022

I Wanna Dance With Somebody

This Whitney Houston biopic is expected to not shy away from the legendary singer’s queerness now that her longtime best friend-slash-personal assistant, Robyn Crawford, confirmed in a 2019 tell-all book that she and Houston indeed had a closeted love affair. (Lifetime’s 2015 Whitney Houston biopic Whitney barely hinted at the relationship.) Directed by Kasi Lemmons and written by Anthony McCarten, I Wanna Dance With Somebody’s cast includes Naomi Ackie as Houston, Nafessa Williams as Crawford, Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown, and Stanley Tucci as Clive Davis.

In theaters December 23, 2022

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Am I OK?

Best friends since childhood Lucy (Dakota Johnson) and Jane (Sonoya Mizuno) will have their relationship tested when Jane announces that she’s moving to London. Lucy has an announcement of her own, too: She’s in love with Jane. Real-life spouses Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro make their feature-film directorial debut with Am I OK?, which was written by Lauren Pomerantz.

Release date TBA

Beauty

This Netflix drama from director Andrew Dosunmu and writer Lena Waithe stars Gracie Marie Bradley as the titular character, an up-and-coming singer who has a romance with her butch best friend, Jasmine (Aleyse Shannon).

Release date TBA

Laurence Cendrowicz/Roadside Attractions

Benediction

During World War I, British poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon was an outspoken critic of the war. He was also semi-closeted about being gay and married to a woman, who knew about his true sexuality before they tied the knot. This biopic written and directed by Terence Davies shows Sassoon’s life mostly as a young man (Jack Lowden) and as a middle-aged man (Peter Capaldi) reflecting back on his life. The movie includes depictions of Sassoon’s love affairs, including an on-again-off-again romance with openly promiscuous composer-actor Ivor Novello (Jeremy Irvine).

Release date TBA

Fire Island

SNL comic Bowen Yang and actor-comedian Joel Kim Booster are slated to star in this Fire Island-set gay rom-com from Searchlight Pictures. It's being billed as a modern take on Pride and Prejudice — plus "cheap rosé and a cadre of eclectic friends," of course.

Release date TBA

Ava Benjamin Shorr/Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Zachary Drucker appears in Framing Agnes by Chase Joynt, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ava Benjamin Shorr.All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Framing Agnes

Directed by Chase Joynt, this documentary is about a trans woman named Agnes Torres, who participated in sociologist Harold Garfinkel’s gender health research at UCLA in the 1960s. The study is considered the first in-depth scientific research into a trans person’s life. Framing Agnes includes reenactments with trans actors, such as Zackary Drucker, Angelica Ross, Jen Richards, Max Wolf Valerio, Silas Howard, and Stephen Ira.

Release date TBA

Ilkka Saastamoinen

Eleonoora Kauhanen, Aamu Milonoff and Linnea Leino appear in Girl Picture by Alli Haapasalo, an official selection of the World Cinema: Dramatic Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ilkka Saastamoinen.\r\rAll photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Girl Picture

This drama, which takes place in Finland, shows how three teens' lives are forever changed during three consecutive Fridays. Best friends Mimmi (Aamu Milonoff) and Rönkkö (Eleonoora Kauhanen) have different relationship statuses. Mimmi is dating Emma (Linnea Leino), a skater with ambitions to win a European championship. Meanwhile, Rönkkö is unattached and exploring her sexual freedom. Alli Haapasalo directed Girl Picture, which was written by Ilona Ahti and Daniela Hakulinen.

Release date TBA

Leonardo Feliciano/Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Camilla Souza and Cícero Lucas appear in Marte Um (Mars One) by Gabriel Martins, an official selection of the World Cinema: Dramatic Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Leonardo Feliciano.All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Marte Um (Mars One)

In this drama written and directed by Gabriel Martins, the Brazilian working-class Martins family is trying to navigate life after a right-wing president of Brazil is elected. Family patriarch Wellington (Carlos Francisco) hopes that his son Deivinho (Cícero Lucas) will become a soccer star. Wellington’s superstitious wife Tércia (Rejane Faria) thinks that she might be cursed. Meanwhile, daughter Eunice (Camilla Souza), who is lesbian or queer, has fallen in love with another woman and is contemplating moving out of the family home.

Release date TBA

My Fake Boyfriend

This rom-com is about the type of problem Grindr doesn’t advertise. Not much has been revealed about the movie so far, except that Keiynan Lonsdale plays a young man who creates a fake boyfriend online so that his ex-boyfriend will leave him alone. Things go wrong when Lonsdale’s character meets a new guy who could be his true love, but he struggles to get rid of the fake online boyfriend. Directed by Rose Troche, My Fake Boyfriend was written by Luke Albright, Greg Boaldin, and Joe Wanjai Ross.

Release date TBA

The Last Chapter

What happens when a gay BDSM master retires and moves to a new place in Paris? Find out in this documentary, which tells the story of 63-year-old French dom Bernard Guyonnet and his submissive younger lover, Italian filmmaker Gianluca Matarrese, who directed the movie and says he is Bernard’s “slave.” The Last Chapter won the Queer Lion Award at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival.

Release date TBA

My Policeman

Based on Bethan Roberts’s 2012 novel of the same name, My Policeman centers on a decades-spanning love triangle between British policeman Tom Burgess, his wife Marion Taylor Burgess, and Tom’s lover Patrick Hazlewood. Directed by Michael Grandage and written by Ron Nyswaner, My Policeman has cast members playing the younger and older versions of all three characters. Harry Styles is young Tom, Linus Roache is older Tom, Emma Corrin is young Marion, Gina McKee is older Marion, David Dawson is young Patrick, and Rupert Everett is older Patrick.

Release date TBA

Andrew Catlin/Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Sinéad O'Connor appears in Nothing Compares by Kathryn Ferguson, an official selection of the World Cinema: Documentary Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Andrew Catlin.All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Nothing Compares

The life of unpredictable Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor, who came out as queer in 2000, is chronicled in this documentary from director Kathryn Ferguson. Among the many topics explored are O’Connor’s controversial 1992 Saturday Night Live appearance, her public struggles with mental illness, and her conversion to Islam that resulted in her legally changing her name to Shuhada Sadaqat.

Release date TBA

Courtesy of Dark Star Pictures

Potato Dreams of America

In this autobiographical dramedy inspired by openly gay writer-director Wes Hurley’s own 1990s youth, a Russian boy named Vasili, who is nicknamed Potato and knows he is gay, immigrates to Seattle with his doctor mother Lena (Sera Barbieri) after she decides to become a mail-order bride. They don’t exactly experience the American Dream when they find out why their politically conservative benefactor John (Dan Lauria) had a hard time getting someone to marry him. Potato is played as a child by Hersh Powers and as a teenager by Tyler Bocock.

Release date TBA

See You Then

About 10 years after transgender woman Kris Ahadi (Pooya Mohseni) abruptly broke up with her cisgender girlfriend Naomi Liu (Lynn Chen), Kris contacts Naomi to try to make peace over how their relationship ended. During this reunion, Kris and Naomi catch up on each other’s lives and talk about Kris’s transition, which happened after the breakup. See You Then is a drama directed and co-written by Mari Walker.

Release date TBA

Terrorizers

Set in the Taiwan capital of Taipei City, this intense psychological thriller (written and directed by Wi Ding Ho) centers on four young people caught in a love quadrangle. Ming Liang (Austin Lin), a troubled loner who’s addicted to video games, becomes obsessed with Monica (Annie Chen), an ambitious aspiring actress who’s a former porn cam girl. Yu Fang (Moon Lee), a shy café worker who wants to be an actress, begins dating Xiao Zhang (JC Lin), a romantic aspiring chef-restaurateur who works as a cook at a fast-food restaurant. Things get complicated when acting classmates Monica and Yu Fang become sexually attracted to each other, and a jealous act of violence turns everyone’s lives upside down.

Release date TBA

Courtesy of The Party Film Sales

To Kill the Beast

Written and directed by Agustina San Martín, this atmospheric drama set in Argentina tells the story of 17-year-old Emilia Otero (Tamara Rocca), a restless free spirit who has traveled from the capital city of Buenos Aires to a small town to stay with her Aunt Inés (Ana Brun), whose home is also a hostel. Amid local stories that a mysterious killer beast is wandering around at night, Emilia and an older woman named Julieth (Julieth Micolta), who’s a guest at the hostel, have a flirtation with each other that turns into something more.

Release date TBA

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