Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to Boy Erased, the coming-of-age and coming-out drama from writer/director Joel Edgerton based on Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family by Garrard Conley. Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) will star opposite Academy Award winners Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman. The movie will be produced by Anonymous Content and will begin production this fall for a 2018 theatrical release. Focus chairman Peter Kujawski made the announcement today.
The film will tell the story of Jared (to be portrayed by Mr. Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Ms. Kidman and Mr. Crowe) at age 19. Jared is quickly pressured into attending a gay conversion therapy program – or else be shunned by his family, friends, and church. It is within the program that Jared comes into conflict with its head therapist (Mr. Edgerton).
“I’m excited to work with an ensemble of actors, seasoned and new, to bring Garrard’s story to the screen. I think Focus is the perfect partner on this, and I will always thank Garrard for trusting my passion for his life story. I can’t think of a better reason to get behind the camera again,” said Mr. Edgerton.
Boy Erased is being produced by Mr. Edgerton and Anonymous Content’s Kerry Kohansky-Roberts and Steve Golin, an Academy Award-winning producer of Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight. Executive-producing the film are Rebecca Yeldham, Ann Ruark, and Anonymous Content’s Kim Hodgert and Tony Lipp. Josh McLaughlin, recently promoted to Focus president of production, will supervise the project for the company.
Mr. Conley’s book was first published last year by Penguin Random House, and was issued earlier this year in paperback. Mr. Edgerton has written the screenplay adaptation; Boy Erased will be his second feature as director following the sleeper hit The Gift (also produced by Ms. Yeldham), which earned him a Directors Guild of America Award nomination. He was recently a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominee for his performance in Focus’ Loving.