Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce, and Hugo Weaving in 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' Source: MGM Studios

'It's Happening' – Cast, Director Back on the Bus for 'Priscilla' Sequel

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Three decades later, among drastically different attitudes toward drag, the eponymous bus from "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" is set to ride again.

Director Stephan Elliott, who helmed the iconic original film, told Deadline that he will be at the wheel of the new venture, with all of the first movie's three stars – Terrence Stamp, Guy Pearce, and Hugo Weaving – hopping on for the project.

"The original cast is on board, I've got a script that everybody likes, we're still working out deals," Elliott told the outlet, before going on to declare: "It's happening."

The 1994 queer classic "became a surprise hit, with its positive portrayal of LGBT characters winning audiences over worldwide and lifting it to the status of a beloved classic, at a time where drag artistry remained largely invisible to mainstream audiences," Australian outlet ABC recalled.

The original movie "tells the story of three drag performers, played by Weaving, Stamp and Pearce, traveling through the Australian outback on a bus called Priscilla," ABC detailed. "The cast's glittery dresses and extravagant headpieces won the Oscar for best costume design for the work of Australian costume designer Tim Chappel at the 67th Academy Awards, and the movie also received a BAFTA for best makeup and hair."

Chappel offered his thoughts on the film to ABC, saying he receives "emails from young people and young gay people in other countries who say the film has opened their world and made them feel free."

Elliott told Deadline he had been "pitched Priscilla 2 in spades," but never wanted to make a sequel because, he said, "I just didn't want to repeat myself."

But things have changed: Elliott opened up that the deaths of his parents, one after the other in a two-year span, led to a different outlook.

He also gave a hint as to what the new film will entail. "Tick's character in the 1994 film had a 7-year-old son," Elliott pointed out, referencing the character played by "The Matrix" star Hugo Weaving.

"Well, he's grown up now," Elliott noted. "Therefore, I've written in a bunch of new characters to support a new generation."

As the first film did, the "Priscilla" sequel will showcase "old disco classics," Elliott said, "but we'll be moving into contemporary as well."

Though it's been 30 years, the movie has never fallen out of the public's consciousness; the movie has even been given the stage musical treatment. Meanwhile, the centuries-old art form of drag has gained ever-growing popularity thanks not only to "Priscilla," but to the "RuPaul's Drag Race" franchise, which has seen iterations of the American reality contest show thrive in more than a dozen other countries around the world.

The beloved film was referenced in recent headlines when the bus was rediscovered after having disappeared after production on the original movie was completed. The bus has endured fires and floods, news reports noted, but is now due for restoration.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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