Stephen Dunn tapped to helm Peacock’s Queer as Folk reboot

The St. John's, N.L. native is attached to write, direct and executive produce the new iteration of the hit U.K. series.

stephen dunn photo credit nicholas hiscock

U.S. streamer Peacock has tapped Canadian creative Stephen Dunn to write, direct and executive produce its newly announced Queer as Folk reboot.

The reimagining of the ’90s series about the lives of three gay men living in Manchester, U.K received a straight-to-series order from Peacock and will be produced by Universal Cable Productions.

Dunn, who is currently quarantining in his hometown of St. John’s, N.L., created the new iteration of the show and is set to direct the pilot episode.

Released in 1999, the original, Russell T. Davies-created iteration of the show was produced in the U.K. for Channel 4. The popularity of the series caught the attention of producers across the pond and a Canadian-American remake, produced by Temple Street and Cowlip Productions, ran from 2000 to 2005. It aired in Canada on Showcase and in the U.S. on Showtime. A reboot had previously been in development with Bravo in 2018 but that version, to which Dunn was also attached, did not move forward.

Queer as Folk was more than just a show, it was a ground-breaking and necessary voice for so many people. Stephen’s new version for Peacock arrives at yet another pivotal moment in our culture,” said Lisa Katz, president, scripted content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a statement.

In Canada, Dunn first rose to prominence as an independent filmmaker with his acclaimed debut feature Closet Monster, which premiered at TIFF in 2015. Last year, he directed and wrote an episode of Apple TV+’s Little America. Most recently it was announced that Dunn is adapting the novel Yes, Daddy for Amazon, with Patrick Moran producing.

“It is a surreal honour to adapt the notoriously groundbreaking series by Russell T. Davies. When the show originally aired, the idea of unapologetic queer stories on TV was so provocative that I felt I could only watch Queer as Folk in secret,” said Dunn in a statement. “But so much has changed in the last 20 years and how wonderful would it be if the next generation didn’t have to watch Queer as Folk alone in their dank basements with the sound muted, but with their family and friends and the volume cranked all the way to the max….”

Additional EPs include Lee Eisenberg, Emily Brecht, original series creator Davies, Nicola Shindler and Richard Halliwell on behalf of NENT Studios UK, which handles the format.