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Photography Scott Leon/ photography Michael Bailey Gates Dazed autumn/winter 2019

Barbie Ferreira and Kiersey Clemons to star in Las Vegas drag king comedy

Set in the 90s drag scene of Las Vegas, The Young King follows the adventures of an aspiring drag king and no-nonsense dancer

Breaking news from the lesbian film desk! A new movie has been announced that sounds like just the fun, raucous comedy that we need after years of melancholic queer longing by the sea. Starring queer actors Kiersey Clemons and Barbie Ferreira, The Young King is set in the 90s drag king scene of Las Vegas. Based on that premise alone we would have booked our tickets – but it gets even better.

The film, which will be the directorial debut of Larin Sullivan, follows Clemons’ character Jules – an aspiring drag king who goes to Vegas to perform in the country’s biggest drag king revue and reconnect with her dad (played by Michael Shannon) who is not only a legendary gambler but also a part-time children’s party clown (!). Dad Mick is apparently not thrilled to see his daughter presenting as masculine, wearing suits and chasing after no-nonsense dancer Ronnie (Ferreira) but we can’t think of anything better. 

“We are delighted to present Larin’s fresh twist on a classic Vegas story by shining a light on the drag king scene, which has rarely, if ever, been explored on the big screen,” says David Garrett, the CEO of Mister Smith Entertainment, who describes the film as an “incredible emotional father-daughter story”.

The film will also feature original music from Justin Tranter, who has written for everyone from Britney Spears to Ariana Grande and is behind some of the biggest pop hits of the last decade including Bieber’s “Sorry” and the best Selena Gomez songs: “Good for You”, “Hands to Myself” and “Bad Liar.” 

The Young King is just one of a series of exciting upcoming movies centred around queer female characters. Earlier this year, it was announced Ethan Coen will be directing a road trip sex comedy that follows the adventures of “a skirt-chasing party girl” and her friend as they cruise “every lesbian bar on the eastern seaboard” and encounter everything from a women’s soccer team to a severed head in a hatbox.

Director Emma Seligman has also teamed up with her Shiva Baby star Rachel Sennott on Bottoms, a high school sex comedy that follows two unpopular queer girls who start a fight club to try to hook up with cheerleaders and have sex before graduation. Also starring Ayo Edebiri, the film is the result of Seligman longing for “fun, more raunchy depictions of queer women” when she was in high school, she said speaking to Dazed last year.