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Daniel Craig and Luca Guadagnino
Daniel Craig and Luca GuadagninoVia Wikimedia Commons

Luca Guadagnino to adapt William S Burroughs’ 1985 novel, Queer

The film, which follows heroin dealer William Lee, will be costumed by Jonathan Anderson

Jonathan Anderson has taken to Instagram to broadcast his involvement in Luca Guadanigno’s upcoming adaptation of William S Burroughs’ 1985 novel Queer. The announcement compounds a longstanding relationship between the two Mubi acolytes that has so far given way to Bones and All and the yet-to-be-released Challengers. 

Queer (and its precursor Junkie) follow the shy and insecure character of William Lee – a semi-autobiographical character – and his experiences as a heroin user and dealer throughout the early 1950s. Queer, however, centres on Lee and his life with other expatriate college students in Mexico City, and his romantic pursuit of discharged Navy serviceman Eugene Allerton. Though the book was written between 1951 and 1953, it was only published in 1985, when Burroughs considered himself clean from heroin.

Although not much else is known about casting, it’s rumoured that Guadagnino is reportedly looking at “one of the stars” of the Netflix series Outer Banks to fill the role of Allteron. 

Guadagnino seems to never stop working, having directed the cannibal romance film Bones and All – starring Dazed Winter Issue cover star Taylor Russell – which has had no shortage of attention since its release back in November. The director is also working on a new romantic sports comedy film titled Challengers starring Zendaya, which is set to be released in August 2023. Playwright Justin Kuritzkes, who collaborated with Guadagnino on the Challengers script, is also reported to be writing the screenplay for Queer.

With another unreleased feature still ahead of Guadagnino, we might not expect to see Queer for some time. Burroughs’ work is said to be notoriously difficult to adapt, with Steve Buscemi attempting to bring Queer to the big screen back in 2011, attaching Stanley Tucci and Ben Foster to the project before it eventually fell through. Let’s hope Guadagnino has better luck this time around.