On March 8, the science fiction film “Space Station 76,” starring openly gay Matt Bomer as the lead, premiered at South by Southwest.
According to the official page at SXSW, the movie is “is a comedic drama about a group of people (and several robots) living on a space station in a 1970’s-version of the future. When a new Assistant Captain arrives, she inadvertently ignites tensions among the crew, prompting them to confront their darkest secrets. Barely contained lust, jealousy, and anger all bubble to the surface, becoming just as dangerous as the asteroid that’s heading right for them.”
As hinted by the tagline “Welcome to the future of the past,” the atmosphere of the movie is “retro-futuristic,” taking more than a little of its inspiration from classic science fiction media such as the original “Star Trek.” In contrast to the gay icons of yesteryear, however, the queerness in this picture isn’t just symbolic.
In an interview with the Metro, Matt Bomer described “Space Station 76” as “like ‘The Ice Storm’ set in a 1970s version of outer space—but funnier. It deals with the duality of 1970s suburbia, and the secret needs we all hide, in an unflinching way. I play a maintenance worker on a spaceship who is trying to provide for his family and create a better home environment and his wife is falling apart. Drama and comedy ensues.”
The film’s writer and directior, Jack Plotnick, previously acted in LGBT-inclusive shows such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Ellen,” and “Nip/Tuck.” His film credits include perhaps his most famous role, an appearance in the movie “Girls Will Be Girls” as his drag queen persona Evie Harris. Along with co-stars Clinton Leupp and Jeffery Roberson, he won L.A. Outfest’s “Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film”—and the US Comedy Arts Festival’s “Best Actress” award.
On March 7, Sony Pictures announced they had acquired the rights to release “Space Station 76” internationally. A date for a release in theaters or on DVD/Blu-Ray has not been announced, but the official Facebook page says to “look for it” in early 2014.