True Detective director Cary Fukunaga has been recruited to helm a new film penned by the Brokeback Mountain co-screenwriters. The as-yet-untitled drama will tell the true story of Joe Bell and his son Jaden, the latter a 15-year-old openly gay Oregon high school student who committed suicide after being bullied because of his sexuality.
A devastated Joe Bell then embarked on a cross-country walking tour “to promote awareness about the consequences of prejudice,” Deadline reports. Although Joe Bell’s journey ended tragically after he was killed in a car accident in Colorado, his efforts resulted in the founding of Faces for Change, a non-profit anti-bullying organization.
The father-son drama is the latest project for Fukunaga, who will follow up his breakout, Emmy-winning work on HBO’s spellbinding True Detective with Beasts of No Nation, a Netflix original film starring Idris Elba. Fukunaga is also attached to the remake of Stephen King’s classic It, which will reportedly be made as two films. That project is currently in pre-production and will begin shooting this summer in New York City, the director said at a Tribeca Film Festival panel.
Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, who won an Academy Award in 2006 for their adaptation of Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain, will write the film’s script. A24 Films will produce the movie, marking the first time the production company has internally developed a film after serving primarily as distributor for pictures like Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year and the upcoming Amy documentary about Amy Winehouse.