Joel Edgerton to Adapt Garrard Conley’s Boy Erased for Film

Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased/Photo © Colin Boyd Shafer

After dueling with Netflix and multiple other distributors, Focus Features has landed the rights to Joel Edgerton’s upcoming adaptation of Boy Erased, Garrard Conley’s powerful 2016 memoir.

Golden Globe nominee Edgerton will write, direct, and star in the film alongside Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”) and Academy Award winners Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman. The film, billed as a coming-of-age and coming-out drama, will center on nineteen-year old Jared (Hedges) who is outed to his parents (Crowe and Kidman). Jared’s father, a Baptist minister, pressures Jared to enter a gay conversion program or be shunned by his family and community. Edgerton will portray the head therapist in the facility where Jared is admitted.

Edgerton had this to say about the project: “I’m excited to work with an ensemble of actors, seasoned and new, to bring Garrard’s story to the screen. 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”

With his 2016 memoir, Garrard Conley gave readers a heartrending, emotionally raw, and thought-provoking account of his experience undergoing gay conversion therapy – a practice that, despite overwhelming condemnation by a host of medical professionals, persists as a disturbingly common practice with only a handful of states outlawing the “therapy.” Conley’s journey is a complex, oft-painful-but-ultimately hopeful one that is unfortunately common for many in the LGBTQ community. Hopefully, this adaptation will further a conversation that has been far too long in coming.