Drew Starkey cast as Daniel Craig’s love interest in Luca Guadagnino’s ‘Queer’

Drew Starkey and Daniel Craig
Drew Starkey and Daniel Craig Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix; Dave Benett/Netflix

Daniel Craig is set to take on yet another queer role. The star of the most recent run of James Bond films has been cast as William S. Burroughs’s fictional alter ego in Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming adaptation of the gay author’s novel Queer.

According to Variety, which first reported the casting news, Outer Banks star Drew Starkey will star opposite Craig as the object of the older man’s desire. The film also reportedly stars Lesley Manville, Jason Schwartzman, and Henry Zaga.

Burroughs’s 1985 novel follows Lee, an American expat living in Mexico City in the 1950s, as he pursues and becomes obsessed with the much younger Allerton, a discharged American Navy serviceman. Actor Steve Buscemi was previously set to direct a film version of the novel.  

“It is one of my all-time favorite books. And the film has everything – Mexico, lots of drugs, and Daniel Craig,” British designer Jonathan Anderson, who will serve as Queer’s costume designer, recently told The Guardian.

The film, which will reportedly begin production in Rome this month, marks Guadagnino’s first explicitly queer project since his 2020 HBO series We Are Who We Are. Notably, as in 2017’s Academy Award-winning Call Me by Your Name, the out director has cast no openly gay actors in the lead queer roles in Queer.

Craig, of course, is no stranger to playing gay. One of his earliest film roles was playing painter Francis Bacon’s lover in 1998’s Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon. More recently, he’s played gay sleuth Benoit Blanc in director Rian Johnson’s Knives Out (2019) and its sequel Glass Onion (2022).

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