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Camp HBO Max - What We Know So Far

In October, Deadline announced Billy Porter would direct the Warner Bros. movie "Camp" for HBO Max. The project is one of three features the "Pose" alum has lined up, in addition to an untitled queer teen comedy produced by Gabrielle Union (via Deadline) and the coming-of-age drama "What If?" for Orion Pictures (via Variety).

According to Deadline, "Camp" is adapted from Lev A.C. Rosen's 2020 YA novel of the same name (via Goodreads). Robert O'Hara is revising a screenplay originally penned by Kit Williamson ("Eastsiders"). Per his IMDb page, O'Hara's only other film writing credit is 2011's "The Inheritance," but he's a Tony-nominated director for the Broadway production of "Slave Play." Additionally, "American Beauty" and "Milk" producer Dan Jinks will once again serve as a producer on this project.

Although Porter is largely untested as a director, but he is an award-winning television and stage actor. "Billy Porter, who I've been fortunate to know for more than 20 years, is the perfect director for this story, which is both hilariously funny and also quite moving. I wish a movie like this was around when I was growing up. I'm thrilled we get to make it now," said Jinks in a statement shared by Deadline.

Although "Camp" is in the early stages of development, here's everything we know about the film so far.

What is the release date of Camp on HBO Max?

According to Variety's October announcement, "Camp" will premiere on HBO Max, but no release date has been set. As previously mentioned, the project's script is still undergoing revisions. Similarly, it's unclear when the movie will be ready to go into production. Also muddling the production timeline is the lack of clarity around where the movie is in the casting and location scouting process. The final piece of this release date puzzle is knowing when production will begin on "Camp" or the Gabrielle Union-produced Amazon Studios teen comedy.

When it comes to production and release dates, major studios are still playing catch-up following numerous COVID-19 production delays. With all of this in mind, the most optimistic guess for a "Camp" release date would be late 2022, but an early or mid-2023 debut seems to be the more realistic option. However, given this is set to go right to HBO Max, Warner Bros. might have less trouble getting "Camp" on the release calendar sooner rather than later.

Who is in the cast of Camp on HBO Max?

The only confirmed cast member is Billy Porter, according to Deadline. The actor-director will play Mark, a theater director at a summer camp for queer teens. These days, Porter is perhaps best known for playing Pray Tell in the FX series "Pose," which garnered him three Primetime Emmy nominations and one win for outstanding lead actor in a drama series in 2019. He most recently appeared as Fairy Godmother in Amazon's modern telling of "Cinderella."

Porter also has an extensive theater background. In 2013, he won the Tony Award for best leading actor in a musical for his role as Lola in "Kinky Boots" (via Broadway World). That same year, he also took home a Grammy for best musical theater album. Per Broadway World, his theater credits include the 2003 Broadway revival of "Little Shop of Horrors" and the off-Broadway productions "Birdie Blue" and "Ghetto Superstar." If you aren't keeping track, Porter just needs an Oscar in order to join the exclusive ranks of performers who can boast of their EGOT status.

In addition to directing, Porter remains in demand as an actor. His next role is providing the voice of the man-eating plant Audrey II in Greg Berlanti's remake of "Little Shop of Horrors." In 2020, an article in The Hollywood Reporter stated Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Taron Egerton were in talks to star in the film alongside Porter. Recent news on "Little Shop of Horrors" is scarce, so it's difficult to predict how Porter's commitment to the film could impact production on "Camp."

What is the plot of Camp on HBO Max?

According to Variety's October report, "Camp" is set at Camp Outland, "an outdoor oasis for queer teens." The story follows around Randy Kapplehoff, who stars in the camp musical and falls in love with a boy "who doesn't know he exists." In order to get the attention of his crush, Randy "reinvents himself as the buff and masculine Del, who forgoes his beloved show tunes, nail polish and unicorn bedsheets to capture the heart of the hunky camper." However, Randy begins to question his plan to win the attention of his crush as he realizes the lengths he has to go to erase his true self.

Porter can likely relate to the freedom and success that comes with being true to yourself. While speaking with CBS News to promote his memoir "Unprotected," he shared, "The calls I'm getting now is for me to be Billy — the Billy that was rejected for decades. They want me to show up in my dresses, they want me to show up in my gowns, they want me to show up in my wings." 

He then recalled how he was beaten up every day and tormented by his classmates until he sang in his school's fifth-grade talent show. "And then, all of a sudden it was like, 'Oh, well, you know, leave him alone – he can sing!' That was my cue. I was like, 'Oh, shoot, well, let me sing! Let me keep singing so I can stop getting beat!" he said. No wonder Porter seized the opportunity to direct "Camp," which sounds like it will hit very close to home.