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Focus Features released the first trailer for Boy Erased, starring Lucas Hedges, on Tuesday.
The film stars Hedges following his breakout supporting roles in Manchester by the Sea, Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Other castmembers include Joel Edgerton — who also directed, wrote and produced the film — as well as Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Cherry Jones.
Boy Erased tells the story of Garrard (Hedges), a teenage boy who is outed as gay by his religious parents (Kidman and Crowe) in a small town. Garrard is pressured to attend a gay conversion therapy program and if he chooses to not participate, he will risk losing relationships with his family and friends. While attending the program, he is faced with conflict presented by the head therapist (Edgerton). The film — expected to be an awards hopeful — is based on the memoir by Garrard Conley.
The trailer opens with Garrard attending church as his father, Marshall, leads the service. Clips of Garrard at a basketball game and hanging out with friends are shown to portray his seemingly normal life. “I want you to have a great life. I love you, but we cannot see a way that you can live under this roof if you’re gonna fundamentally go against the grain of our beliefs,” says his father.
After coming out to his parents, Garrard is sent to a gay conversion program. “Garrard, God will not love you the way that you are,” therapist Victor Sykes (Edgerton) tells him. In addition to being told homosexuality is a sin, the boys in the program are hit with Bibles as punishment for their sexuality.
“Tell them whatever they want to hear. Play the part unless you really think you can change. Or even want to,” fellow program member Gary (Troye Sivan) tells Garrard after he admits that he is having a difficult time with the program.
Throughout the trailer, Garrard struggles with his identity and questions if he should choose the stability of his family over his own happiness. “I don’t want to pretend anymore,” Garrard tells his father in one scene. He responds, “I’ve had to ask myself and God if I’m ready to lose you.”
Boy Erased is not the only film about gay conversion therapy to come out this year. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which stars Chloe Grace Moretz in the titular role, also tells the story of a teenager forced to attend a program after getting caught with a girl. The trailer for the film was released July 10.
Boy Erased will be released in theaters Nov. 2; the cast also includes Michael “Flea” Balzary, Xavier Dolan, Sivan and Joe Alwyn. Watch the full trailer above.
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