This Gay Marine Vet Just Made a Movie Based on His Life in the Corps During 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell'

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Jeremy Pope The Inspection
Jeremy Pope stars in the Marine Corps drama "The Inspection." (A24)

"The Inspection" is a new feature about a young man who turns his life around in the Marine Corps after being kicked out of the house as a teen for being gay and living homeless for several years. Marine veteran Elegance Bratton wrote and directed the movie, which is based on his own real-life experiences.

The movie will get its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and a prestigious closing night screening at the New York Film Festival in October before A24 releases "The Inspection" in theaters on Nov. 18, 2022.

We've got a first look at the trailer.

Bratton served in the Corps during the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" era, and the movie draws on those experiences. Jeremy Pope, best known for his role in the Netflix series "Hollywood" and set to play World War II Army veteran Sammy Davis Jr. in the upcoming biopic "Scandalous!," plays Ellis French, the character based on Bratton.

What's a Marine Corps movie without a terrifying drill instructor? Bokeem Woodbine, the great character actor so memorable as the rapper Massive Genius on "The Sopranos" and recently seen on "Fargo" and "Halo," is an actor who seems born to play one.

Bratton lived on the streets for a decade after being kicked out of the house for being gay. He joined the Corps at age 26 and served as a combat production assistant at Camp H.M. Smith in Hawaii. After the Corps, he graduated from Columbia University and New York University's Tisch School for the Arts.

He's used those camera skills he learned in the Corps to make a career in film, creating the Viceland series "My House" and directing the 2019 documentary "Pier Kids" before writing and directing "The Inspection" as his first feature film.

The trailer for Bratton's film brings in a lot of the Marine Corps' core values, so it looks like we can expect a movie that portrays lead character Ellis French's military experience in a positive light in spite of the inherent problems a gay Marine would have faced in that era.

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