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.
"I think Focus is the perfect partner on this, and I will always thank Garrard for trusting my passion for his life story."
The film will tell the story of Jared [Lucas Hedges], the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents [Nicole Kidman and Russell 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 [Joel Edgerton].
"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.”
Garrard Conley’s book was first published last year by Penguin Random House, and was issued earlier this year in paperback. Joel Edgerton has written the screenplay adaptation; Boy Erased will be his second feature as director following the sleeper hit The Gift, 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.
Boy Erased is being produced by 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 [The Gift], Ann Ruark [Babel], 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 2012 Focus Features was recognized by Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit, with its Point Inspiration Award, given to a company or organization that champions respect and inclusion of the LGBT community and operates with the vision that investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2017, Focus Features has made and released Academy Award-winning LGBT-themed films including Beginners, Dallas Buyers Club, The Danish Girl, Milk, and Brokeback Mountain, the company’s all-time top-grosser.
Mr. 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.”
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