Joel Edgerton To Direct Lucas Hedges In Gay Conversion Drama, 'Boy Erased'

Joel Edgerton may be best known for rugged Australian thrillers like Animal Kingdom, but he's shown a sensitive touch both as an actor and a director. He was the quiet soul of last year's Loving and Midnight Special, and some of that peeks through in this weekend's post-apocalyptic It Comes At Night. His previous turn behind the camera was the surprise hit, The Gift, and now Edgerton is courting some big stars for his latest, which tackles a controversial topic.

Edgerton will direct Boy Erased, which already has Manchester By the Sea breakout Lucas Hedges set to star in the film about gay conversion therapy. Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, fellow Aussies, are being sought to co-star in the adaptation of Garrard Conley's memoir about his time spent at Love in Action, a place which attempts to deprogram LGBTQ people.  The son of a Baptist preacher, Garrard was outed at the age of 19, and given the choice of undergoing the conversion program or risk losing everything.

Tough material that comes as LGBTQ rights are under greater threat than ever. Unsurprisingly, this one is attracting a ton of attention as Annapurna, Netflix, Amazon, and Focus Features engage in a bidding war for the rights. Filming is expected to begin this fall. [Deadline]