A24 announced today that they are working alongside “True Detective” helmer Cary Fukunaga to develop an untitled drama based on the true story of Joe and Jadin Bell. Fukunaga will direct from a screenplay by Brokeback Mountain scribes Larry McMurty and Diana Ossana. This marks the first project to be developed from script to screen by A24, who are producing the film along with Fukunaga’s Parliament of Owls production company, Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Riva Marker of Red Crown Productions, and Eva Maria Daniels of VisionChaos Productions. Daniel Crown of Red Crown will executive produce.
The project is based upon the true story of Oregonian father-and-son Joe and Jadin Bell. Jadin, a fifteen-year-old openly gay sophomore, took his own life after being both bullied at high school and struggling for acceptance from the people closest to him. In the wake of Jadin’s suicide, Joe is plunged into a sea of remorse and regret. Attempting to work through his grief, Joe sets out on a walk across America, hoping to promote awareness about the consequences of prejudice to anyone he encounters along the way.
“Joe and Jadin Bell’s story is a poignant reminder of how precious life is, and a life-affirming example of love transcending the prejudice and victimization familiar to many,” says A24. “Cary is a truly exceptional filmmaker. We are honored to help bring his vision of this incredible true story to screen. With the legendary talents of Larry and Diana writing the script, we have no doubt this will be a profoundly emotional and unforgettable film.”
You can read more about the true story behind Joe and Jadin Bell at JoesWalkForChange.org.
Fukunaga recently directed the upcoming drama Beasts of No Nation, produced by Red Crown Productions and acquired by Netflix last month in a groundbreaking eight-figure deal. Fukunaga made his feature film writing and directing debut with the critically-acclaimed Sin Nombre followed by the film adaptation of classic novel Jane Eyre, both released by Focus Features. Fukunaga notably won an Emmy for directing the first season of HBO’s acclaimed mystery drama “True Detective,” which he also executive produced. He is currently in pre-production on the big screen adaptation on Stephen King’s It for New Line Cinema. The two-part film is set to begin production this summer. Additionally, it was recently announced Fukunaga will direct and executive produce an event mini-series inspired by Caleb Carr’s “The Alienist” for Paramount Television. Academy award-winner Eric Roth will also executive produce and Hossein Amini, who wrote the pilot, will write and serve as an executive producer on the series. Fukunaga is represented by WME and Anonymous Content.
McMurtry and Ossana won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Brokeback Mountain. They are represented by UTA, Anonymous Content and attorneys Robert Thorne and Greg Redlitz.
(Photo Credit: Brian To / WENN.com)