EXCLUSIVE: John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) will step in for the late Leslie Jordan as the lead for the beloved actor’s passion project, Ron. 2x Tony Award winner Mitchell is now set to star opposite Emmy and Grammy nom Margaret Cho in the film based on her personal experiences, which Ben Eisner will direct from his own script.
The dramedy follows troubled eleven-year-old Lola, who in the summer of 1982, is introduced to MTV, punk rock music and an 8mm film camera by her babysitter Ron (Mitchell), who collides with the AIDS crisis after giving Lola an assignment to make a film that proves or disproves the existence of God before summer’s end.
Ron hails from Knitted Heart in association with Garnet Girl. Lisa G. Black will produce for Garnet Girl, alongside Cranium Entertainment’ Kimberly Montini and Eisner, with Jordan to be credited as an exec producer alongside Cho.
Cho notes that “Ron is a story inspired by all the gay men who babysat me as a kid and the sad music of their struggles I wrote about in my song Ron’s Got A DUI. This film is all about the challenge of growing up and knowing it’s never too late to become an adult just like it’s always ok to remain a child.”
Continues Cho: “Ron learns how to act his age from a kid who is just a fraction of it and Lola learns how to be a youngster from someone who really remembers. It’s a tale as old and as young as time we all want to get lost in.”
Jordan had been in pre-production on Ron prior to his passing following a minor car crash precipitated by sudden heart failure — over the moon about the opportunity to work with friends Cho and Eisner on the telling of a story that spoke to him powerfully. The Emmy-winning screen icon known for Call Me Kat, Will & Grace and much more was 67. (Read his obituary here, and tributes from co-stars and industry admirers here, here, here and here.)
Mitchell is best known for writing the book for and starring in the Broadway rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch as well as the Golden Globe-nominated film adaptation that he directed from his own script and toplined. The actor, writer, director, producer and singer-songwriter has also previously appeared in series like The Good Fight, The Sandman, Joe vs. Carole, Shrill, Mozart in the Jungle, Vinyl and Girls, among many other projects. Other notable credits for the multi-hyphenate on the filmmaking front include the critically acclaimed Shortbus and the Lionsgate drama Rabbit Hole starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest and Miles Teller. In addition to the two Tonys and the Golden Globe nom, he has been recognized over the course of his career with a Gotham Award, Sundance’s Directing and Audience Awards, and two Independent Spirit Award nominations, among other accolades.
Mitchell is repped by CAA and Peikoff Mahan Law Office.