Joel Edgerton to Write, Produce Coming-Out Drama 'Boy Erased'

Joel Edgerton Getty H 2016
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Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe will star in the project for Focus Features.

Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to Boy Erased, a coming-out drama that writer-director Joel Edgerton will adapt from Garrard Conley’s memoir Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family. Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) is set to star in the film opposite Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman.

Hedges will play a Baptist minister’s son who is outed to his parents (Crowe and Kidman) and is then pressured into a gay conversion program led by a therapist (Edgerton).

The movie, produced by Anonymous Content, will begin production this fall for a 2018 theatrical release. It is Edgerton’s second feature directorial outing, following 2015’s The Gift.

“I’m excited to work with an ensemble of actors, seasoned and new, to bring Garrard’s story to the screen," Edgerton said Wednesday in a statement. "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.”

Boy Erased is being produced by Edgerton and Anonymous Content’s Kerry Kohansky-Roberts and Steve Golin. Executive producers 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.

In making the announcement, Focus chairman Peter Kujawski commented, “Garrard’s story is both timely and timeless, both personal and universal. It is a story which will not only deeply move people, but one that we hope will change outlooks. We are thrilled to work once again with Joel, and with the Anonymous Content team. These filmmakers’ passion for this heart-rending project speaks to all of us at Focus, and to why we make the movies we do.”