Out actors Neil Patrick Harris and Olly
Alexander will star in Russell T. Davies' upcoming AIDS drama Boys.
Boys is set in the 1980s and
charts the lives of three friends over the course of a decade. The
five-part series will air on Channel 4 in the UK in 2020. Filming
begins next week.
Rounding out the cast are Keeley Hawes,
Stephen Fry, Tracy Ann Oberman, Shaun Dooley, Omari Douglas, Callum
Scott Howells, and Lydia West.
to Deadline, the
series will follow the three men as they confront the AIDS epidemic
from its start.
“Boys follows the story of the
1980s, the story of AIDS, and the story of three boys, Ritchie,
played by Alexander, Roscoe and Colin, across the decade. The young
trio, strangers at first, leave home at 18 and head off to London in
1981 with hope and ambition and joy. However, they’re walking
straight into a plague that most of the world ignores. Year by year,
episode by episode, their lives change, as the mystery of a new virus
starts as a rumor, then a threat, then a terror, and then something
that binds them together in the fight. It’s the story of their
friends, lovers and families too, especially Jill, the girl who loves
them and helps them, and galvanizes them in the battles to come.
Together they will endure the horror of the epidemic, the pain of
rejection and the prejudices that gay men faced throughout the
Harris said in a statement that he was
honored to help tell this story.
“I’m so pleased, and incredibly
proud, to be a part of Russell T Davies’ new series,” he said.
“This drama, Boys, is two things: it is an irresistible,
funny, jubilant story of young people discovering their true
identities and the unalloyed joy of living life to the fullest. It is
also a deeply resonant exploration of a decade when so many of these
lives were cut short by the devastating effects of the nascent AIDS
pandemic. Russell’s scripts chart the highs and lows of this time
so beautifully and deftly, it’s an honor to help tell this story.”
Davies' best-known works include Queer
as Folk, the 2005 revival of Doctor Who, and the trilogy
Cucumber, Tofu, and Banana. His latest projects
include A Very English Scandal and Years and Years.