Whatever you thought of Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk — the five of you who saw the movie — one thing clear was that 25-year-old British actor Joe Alwyn was going to make it with his looks and acting chops. To prove that point, Alwyn has just been cast in two fairly high-profile projects, one with Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, the other with Sir Ben Kingsley and Oscar Isaac.
He starts principal photography in Atlanta today with director Joel Edgerton (The Gift) and Crowe on Boy Erased, based on Garrard Conley’s novel Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family. The cast includes the Oscar-nominated Manchester by the Sea star Lucas Hedges, along with Nicole Kidman, Cherry Jones, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Xavier Dolan and Edgerton himself.
Produced by Anonymous Content for Focus Features (with Universal Pictures International handling distribution overseas), it’s the story of Jared (Hedges), son of a Baptist pastor in a small town who is outed to his parents (Crowe and Kidman) at 19, forcing him to decide between attending gay conversion therapy or be shunned from his family and faith. It’s based on the true story of one young man’s similar struggle, and presumably, Alwyn will play one of Jared’s friends.
Besides adapting the novel into a screenplay, Edgerton is also acting as the film’s producer along with Kerry Kohansky-Roberts and Steve Golin from Anonymous Content — they’re the Oscar-winning producers of 2015’s Spotlight. Executive producers are Rebecca Yeldham, Ann Ruark, Anonymous Content’s Kim Hodgert and Tony Lipp with Focus President of Production Josh McLaughlin overseeing for the studio
On top of that, Alwyn has been cast as the son of Ben Kingsley’s Adolf Eichmann in the Chris Weitz-directed Operation Finale, which deals with the hunt for the notorious Nazi responsible for the Holocaust death camps after he escaped to Argentina at the end of World War II. This was also the subject of the 2015 German film The People vs. Fritz Bauer, although it’s likely to approach the material from another angle via Matthew Orton’s script.
Produced by Brian Kavanaugh-Jones andFred Berger of Automatik, along with Jason Spire from Inspire Entertainment, the film also stars Oscar Isaac, Melanie Laurent and Nick Kroll.
Represented by CAA and Independent Talent Group, Alwyn will also soon be seen in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favorite opposite Emma Stone and with Margot Robbie in Mary, Queen of Scots (also for Focus Features).
Variety initially reported on the casting.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor