Jeremy Irvine has signed on to play the lead character in director Roland Emmerich's upcoming film about the Stonewall Inn riots of 1969.

The film, simply titled Stonewall, is written by open gay playwright-screenwriter Jon Robin Baitz, who is best know for creating the ABC drama Brothers & Sisters.

A police raid of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 was met with resistance by gay men and drag queens, triggering the modern gay rights movement.

“It's one of these civil rights moments, like Rosa Parks,” Emmerich said last year. “It was the first time that gay people had shown the police that they should take them seriously.”

Emmerich is best known for big-budget action films like White House Down and Independence Day.

“Emmerich's way in is to focus on a young man's political awakening in the backdrop of those riots,” reported.

Irvine's breakout film was Steven Spielberg's 2011 epic war film War Horse, in which he played the leading character.