HBO’s Gay Military Show Barred From An Italian Base

Luca Guadagnino at Berlinale 2017 / Image via Wikimedia Commons

Luca Guadagnino’s LGBTQ-themed military series has hit some turbulence on the journey to production.

Earlier this year, we shared with you that the Call Me By Your Name director was working on a new project with HBO titled “We Are Who We Are.” He’s set to direct the first two episodes and the season finale while also working on the script.

According to rumors, the series follows military families living in Italy, and specifically two teens within those families. Fraser Wilson moves to an Italian military base with his colonel mother and her wife. But for the young teen boy, the move is a catastrophe as it upended his blossoming romance with a friend named Mark (though, there’s word of Fraser later developing a crush on an older soldier).

That’s when Wilson meets another military brat named Caitlin Harper, a tough-as-nails kickboxer, rifle-shooter, and poet, who’s having an identity crisis. The two then create a strong and inseparable bond.

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But now, it seems that something in that story’s script has upset military personnel, as the show’s production was barred from using the Caserma Ederle army base to film.

Filmmakers seeking military support have to submit copies of the script for review. Unfortunately, something in the script upset those in charge of Caserma Ederle.

“There were concerns about the content of the script,” said Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt, film and television liaison at the Los Angeles office of the chief of public affairs. “There are themes in the script that do not fit in what the Defense Department would support.”

Bockholt wouldn’t share which themes were so offensive to the military personnel at the base, though there is some speculation that it was the LGBTQ themes involved. This is especially interesting as Guadagnino now has a history of directing/producing LGBTQ work like Call Me By Your Name. That said Bockholt shared that he’s unfamiliar with Guadagnino’s work.

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According to military based news source Stars and Stripes, series producer Ricardo Neri said that he was surprised by the military’s reversal to support. After all, they had been in talks for more than a year about the project.

Despite this setback, the show’s production is still on. The producers have already picked a new location near Padua to shoot.

While the casting isn’t complete and the release date hasn’t been announced yet, we know that “We Are Who We Are” will be an hour-long drama and receive eight episodes. We’ll have to wait and see to hear anything else.

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