Roland Emmerich's Gay Rights Drama 'Stonewall' Gets Fall Release Date

Philippe Bossé

The historical drama about the start of the LGBT movement stars Jeremy Irvine and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Roland Emmerich's gay rights historical drama Stonewall will open in U.S. theaters Sept. 25, 2015, timed to awards season.

Roadside Attractions is releasing the movie, starring Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman and Jonny Beauchamp.

The movie — a departure for Emmerich, who is known best for big blockbusters — tells the story of the riots of June 1969 after police raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, and how the events sparked the LGBT rights movement.

Stonewall is written by John Robin Baitz. (Emmerich and Baitz are openly gay.)

"It was the first time gay people said 'enough!' They didn't do it with leaflets or meetings, they took beer bottles and threw them at cops. Many pivotal political moments have been born by violence. If you look at the civil rights movement, at Selma and other events of that kind, it's always the same thing," Emmerich said in a statement. "Something that really affected me when I read about Stonewall was that when the riot police showed up in their long line, these kids formed their own long line and sang a raunchy song. That, for me, was a gay riot, a gay rebellion."

Emmerich, who also produced the film, continued: "I was always interested and passionate about telling this important story, but I feel it has never been more timely than right now. Less than 50 years ago, in 1969, being gay was considered a mental illness; gay people could not be employed by the government; it was illegal for gay people to congregate, and police brutality against gays went unchecked."