Emmy and Tony Award winner Cherry Jones (“Transparent”, “24”) and Grammy Award winner Michael “Flea” Balzary, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, join the cast of 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, who serves as a consultant on the film. In addition to Jones and Flea, also joining the cast are Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother), singer/songwriter and YouTube personality Troye Sivan, as well as Emily Hinkler (Tyler Perry’s Boo 2), Jesse LaTourette (Z Nation), David Joseph Craig (The Gift), Théodore Pellerin (It’s Only the End of the World), and Britton Sear (Unfinished Business, HBO’s “Vice Principals”). They join the already announced cast led by Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Academy Award winners Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, and Joel Edgerton. The movie will be produced by Anonymous Content and will begin production this fall for a 2018 theatrical release. Focus chairman Peter Kujawski made the announcement today.
The film will tell the story of Jared (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Kidman and Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a gay conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. Boy Erased is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity.
Commented Joel Edgerton, “The Boy Erased cast is rounding out in a way I could only dream of. We have gathered an incredible ensemble of actors.”
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, Ann Ruark, and Anonymous Content’s Kim Hodgert and Tony Lipp. Josh McLaughlin, Focus president of production, will supervise the project for the company.
Conley is helping to ensure the film is an accurate adaption of his memoir, which was first published last year by Penguin Random House, and was issued earlier this year in paperback. Edgerton has written the screenplay adaptation; Boy Erased will be his second feature as director following the sleeper hit The Gift (also produced by Yeldham), 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.
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.