Elliot Page to partner with New Canvas on VR series ‘When Brooklyn Was Queer’

Elliot Page at the National Book Festival, August 12, 2023. (Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress)

Elliot Page, via his company Pageboy Productions, is set to executive produce VR series When Brooklyn Was Queer, working alongside the Byron Bay and LA-based New Canvas.

The project is an adaptation of Hugh Ryan’s book by the same name, which dove into Brooklyn’s LGBTQIA+ history from the 1850s through to the eve of Stonewall.

Using VR, the series promises to bring stories in Ryan’s book alive, and offer audiences a vivid journey into the untold events of the past.

Ryan will also EP the project, as will Matt Jordan Smith and Tuck Dowrey of Pageboy and Maor Azran and Dan Adler of MA Productions.

New Canvas chief strategy officer and executive producer Wadooah Wali said When Brooklyn Was Queer was primed to be an “extraordinary” VR adaptation.

“This project is a bridge between past and present and we’re able to elevate the storytelling and immerse audiences in a way that’s never been done before,” she said.

“Not only is this team uniquely positioned to transform these profound stories inspired by real people and events into immersive experiences, but it’s also our shared commitment to creating opportunities for underserved communities to be seen and heard. It’s both our joy and obligation to honour these historical truths, presenting them in a dynamic new medium that transcends viewing formats beyond traditional flatscreen entertainment.”

Production is set to commence later this year, with further announcements including talent, platform distribution partnerships and release dates to be made soon. While discussions are ongoing, IF understands there are likely to be Australian partners involved in the project.

Hugh Ryan. (Photo: M Sharkey)

In a statement, Page and Jordan Smith said they were excited to work with New Canvas to bring queer stories into the world of XR.

“We believe making quality art that portrays varied, authentic experiences elicits empathy, understanding and ultimately has the power to change hearts and minds. We are thrilled to partner with Hugh, a master curator, historian and writer, to unearth and spotlight these very real people and experiences from our community’s history that are still very relevant today,” they said.

News of When Brooklyn Was Queer comes off the back of New Canvas being selected for Warner Bros. Discovery and Acme Innovation’s Collider On The Lot accelerator program, and Diana Williams and Dario Di Zanni, co-founders of Kinetic Energy Entertainment, becoming strategic advisors to the XR studio.

In November last year, Screen Australia also announced New Canvas would receive development funding for a second season of its series Lustration. Created by Ryan Griffen, the first iteration was financed by Meta and screened at both SXSW and Venice.