[Update 06.21.17: Focus Features has won a bidding war for Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased, and will begin production this fall for a 2018 theatrical release. Focus has made and released several Oscar-winning LGBT-themed films, including Beginners, Dallas Buyers Club, The Danish Girl, Milk, and Brokeback Mountain, which is the company’s all-time top-grosser. Our earlier story is below.]
A bidding war has broken out over Joel Edgerton’s next film BOY ERASED, the Tracking Board has learned. Manchester By the Sea breakout Lucas Hedges is attached to star alongside Edgerton, and the writer-director is courting fellow Aussies Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman to play Hedges’ parents.
Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, Boy Erased is a provocative drama about a young gay man who is forced to undergo conversion therapy to “cure” his homosexuality. Conley grew up the son of a Baptist pastor in a small, conservative Arkansas town before he was outed to his parents at the age of 19.
Edgerton, who will play the man who runs the conversion program, is producing the coming-of-age film with Steve Golin and Kerry Roberts of Anonymous Content. He previously wrote, directed and produced the 2015 thriller The Gift, and hopes to start filming Boy Erased this fall. Tony Lipp and Kim Hodgert will serve as executive producers.
Boy Erased comes on the heels of last year’s Best Picture winner Moonlight and this year’s Sundance sensation Call Me Be Your Name, which is expected to be an Oscar contender this fall. Both films explore sexual identity and the struggle of being a young gay man.
Hedges earned an Oscar nomination for his impressive turn as Casey Affleck’s nephew in Manchester By the Sea. He’ll soon be seen in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird. He’s represented by Paradigm and Anonymous Content.
Edgerton stars in this weekend’s psychological thriller It Comes at Night. He’s repped by Anonymous Content and CAA, the latter of which is shopping the package to high-minded buyers such as Netflix, Amazon, Focus and Annapurna, as first reported by Deadline.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief