All the tea on hot and steamy upcoming Daniel Craig film, Queer – directed by Luca Guadagnino

Daniel Craig and Drew Starkey

Challengers director Luca Guadagnino is the king of smouldering LGBTQ+ cinematic desire and his forthcoming film Queer, with Daniel Craig at the helm, is no different.

From Call Me By Your Name to We Are Who We Are – and, of course, “deeply horny” new film Challengers – the Italian director has repeatedly focused on queer thematics as he portrays burning, heady romances. 

Queer is set to have its world premiere later this year – some anticipate this may take place at the 2024 Venice Film Festival which takes place from 28 August to 7 September. 

Filming took place last year – shooting was divided between Rome, Italy and Quito, Ecuador – and wrapped in June 2023.

What is the plot of Queer?

With Queer, Guadagnino has set out to adapt William S. Burroughs’ short novel of the same name. The book is semi-autobiographical and a partial sequel to Junkie – it was originally written in 1952 but not published till 1985.

Queer follows the story of Lee (who will be played by the ex-James Bond actor) as he navigates life in Mexico City. Lee jumps from bar to bar in the American expatriate scene in pursuit of fulfilling sexual encounters. 

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In the book, which is written with self-deprecating black humour, Lee descends into a downward spiral and he becomes madly infatuated with Allerton, a young discharged American Navy serviceman.

Who will star in Queer?

A still from the movie Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery shows actor Daniel Craig playing detective Benoit Blanc wearing a pink shirt, light brown trousers and sunglasses as he stands on a boat
Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion (Netflix/John Wilson)

Playing a queer character is not new ground for Craig. The 56-year-old actor previously starred in Knives Out sequel Glass Onion as gay detective Benoit Blanc, who is married to Philip (played by Hugh Grant).

It’s been reported that Outer Banks star Drew Starkey will play Allerton.

The Crown’s Lesley Manville, Asteroid City’s Jason Schwartzman and The New Mutant’s Henry Saga are also set to star in the film. 

Guadagnino’s iteration of Queer is not the first time the book was set to translate to the screen. In 2011, Steve Buscemi was set to direct an adaptation starring Stanley Tucci and Ben Foster but the project never got off the ground.

For the 2024 Queer adaptation, American playwright Justin Kuritzkes (who wrote Guadagnino’s Challengers) has penned the adaptation. 

Additionally, British designer Jonathan Anderson (who also worked on Challengers) – has made a name for himself in the world of fashion with creations for Loewe and his own JW Anderson label – will be handling Queer’s costumes. 

Upon wrapping filming on Queer, Anderson posted on Instagram an image of Starkey with a centipede necklace. 

The caption read: “It started off as a legendary novel and was birthed into a striking film with a group of people lead by Luca Guadagnino.

“This film will change you. And as a symbol of QUEER transformation the centipede takes centre stage.”

When does Challengers come out?

Guadagnino’s tennis drama, Challengers, is the director’s latest release. The film is out in UK cinemas from Friday 26 April 2024.

The horny drama follows the tense, steamy love triangle between Tashi (Zendaya), Art (Mike Faist) and Patrick (Josh O’Connor).

Tashi, a star tennis player turned coach, has turned her husband Art into a grand slam champion.

However, the couple’s relationship is thrown into turmoil as Art finds himself in competition against his former best friend and Tashi’s former boyfriend.

Tensions run high as the past collides with the present in Guadagnino’s non-chronological narrative where bisexual energy reigns supreme. 

Guadanino’s cinematic speciality is the nuance of desire-laden obsession. The 52-year-old gay director is renowned for his unofficial film ‘trilogy of desire’ that consists of I Am Love, A Bigger Splash and Call Me By Your Name.

Challengers is perhaps an addition, making this trilogy a tetralogy. Queer may also become part of Guadagninio’s desire-focused film collection.