The good news—there might be a biopic about legendary pop star and LGBTQ icon George Michael.
The bad news—at least according to American Idol alum and singer Adam Lambert—he might be played by a straight man, British White Lotus star Theo James.
Lambert took to social media immediately after the news dropped of James' rumored casting to slam the actor being chosen for the role.
Commenting on long-running LGBTQ+ magazine The Advocate's Instagram post about the casting rumor, Lambert bristled at Michael not being played by an LGBTQ+ actor.
Along with an eyeroll emoji, Lambert sarcastically commented:
"Yay another straight man playing a gay icon."
Michael, born in North London in 1963, rose to prominence as one half of iconic 1980s pop duo Wham! along with Andrew Ridgeley, racking up several worldwide #1 hits like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Careless Whisper."
He went on to launch a solo career in 1987 with his debut album Faith which, along with its four #1 singles, made him the best-selling music artist of 1988.
Long presumed to be gay throughout his career, Michael came out publicly in 1998 after being arrested in a park restroom in Beverly Hills and charged with lewd conduct as part of a sting operation targeting gay men, an experience he went on to parody in his single and video "Outside" later that year.
Michael went on to have a string of hits on the dance charts throughout the 2000s before dying of heart disease on Christmas Day 2016.
The Michael biopic, if it is actually happening, would be the third consecutive Hollywood biopic treatment of an LGBTQ+ male music icon to feature a straight man in the leading role in recent years.
Bohemian Rhapsody, the 2018 biopic about bisexual Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, featured Rami Malek who went on to win a Best Actor Oscar for the role. The following year, the Elton John biopic Rocketman featured Taron Egerton, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal.
Many people, both queer and not, criticized the practice of casting straight actors in queer roles in recent years, especially since being openly gay was a career death sentence in Hollywood until very recently and, though less so than previously, LGBTQ+ roles are still hard to come by.
For Lambert, however, the potential George Michael biopic is a bit more personal. He said back in 2020 he would love to play the singer if his life were ever given a film adaptation.
Many applauded Lambert for speaking out about the issue.
Lots of people agree he'd make a terrific George Michael.
The film is only rumored to be happening.
Michael's estate denied any knowledge of or involvement with the film.
Guess it's just a careless whisper—for now.