After winning an Emmy for the FX series Pose, Billy Porter has Hollywood at his feet, and sources tell Collider that not only is he in talks to join Sony’s new Cinderella movie, but he’s also being eyed to voice the man-eating plant Audrey II in Warner Bros.’ new feature adaptation of Little Shop of Horrors.
Let’s start with Little Shop, since that’s the bigger news — though to be clear, it remains unconfirmed at this time. Nearly three years ago, it was announced that Warner Bros. had tapped Greg Berlanti to direct a new musical version of Little Shop of Horrors, with Matthew Robinson set to write the script. Over the years, I’d heard all kinds of casting rumors for Seymour — Ben Platt, Harry Styles, Zac Efron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and lately there was some chatter about Lady Gaga playing Audrey (depending on who plays the male lead), but I’d never heard anyone linked to the Audrey II voice role.
There haven’t really been any major updates since that December 2016 announcement — until, that is, Little Shop of Horrors was revealed as one of the recipients of California’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program. You don’t apply for tax credits unless you plan to put a project into production. WB also applied for tax breaks on its Will Smith movie King Richard and Sherlock Holmes 3, the latter of which received a nearly $21 million credit because it will create so many jobs and spend millions of dollars in the state.
The point is that Little Shop of Horrors is in WB’s immediate plans, and while the casting of Seymour and Audrey is up in the air, the studio has set its sights on Porter to voice the killer plant known as Audrey II. I don’t know whether Porter has an actual offer yet, but I understand that overtures have been made, though other performers surely remain in the mix. It is a voice role though, so the job wouldn’t be too taxing on Porter’s already busy schedule.
Charles B. Griffith voiced ‘Audrey Jr.’ in the original 1960 movie directed by Roger Corman, while Levi Stubbs voiced Audrey II in Frank Oz‘s 1986 version starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin as a nitrous oxide-addicted dentist — a role that Chris Evans has lobbied for in recent months.
As for Sony’s Cinderella, this is the project from Blockers director Kay Cannon that is set to star Camila Cabello. I’m told it’s now being referred to as Rebel/Dreamer: A New Type of Cinderella, and sources say that Porter has been tapped to play the Fabulous Godfather — rather than Fairy Godmother.
While the exact plot is being kept under wraps, the film is expected to be a modern reimagining of the classic fairytale. It’s based on an original idea from James Corden, who is producing the feature project with his Fulwell 73 partner Leo Pearlman.
Porter won a Tony Award in 2013 for his turn in Kinky Boots, so between that statue and his recent Emmy, he’s already halfway to achieving GOAT status. He’ll soon be seen reprising his role as Pray Tell on the third season of Pose, and he’ll also be directing his first episode this season. Porter, who will also be seen in the Paramount comedy Like a Boss, is repped by CAA and Industry Entertainment, the latter of which did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday morning.