Jim Parsons’s burgeoning film career has been tipping toward socially conscious projects for a few years now. He has recently appeared in Hidden Figures and the HBO AIDS crisis drama The Normal Heart, but he has yet to play a leading man. Variety announced today, however, that Parsons has signed on to produce and star in the feature A Kid Like Jake. The film, written by Daniel Pearle, is centered around the parents of a transgender 4-year-old and is based on Pearle’s play of the same name that ran at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater in 2013. Claire Danes is attached to play the wife of Parsons’s character, with Silas Howard (Transparent), one of only a few transgender directors in Hollywood, set to direct.
The project’s announcement comes at a pivotal moment in the transgender-rights movement. Just yesterday, the Trump administration rolled back protections that ensured transgender kids could use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity in public schools, a move that prompted celebrities from Caitlyn Jenner to Rhea Butcher to speak up. A Kid Like Jake follows recent trans-focused film projects like last year’s The Danish Girl, for which Eddie Redmayne received an Oscar nomination, and the forthcoming film Three Generations, about a teenage trans boy in the process of transitioning.