Words: Steve Brown
Joel Edgerton wishes he had released Boy Erased on Netflix so more people could have seen the gay conversion therapy film.
Based on Conley's 2016 memoir, the 2018 movie follows Jared (Lucas Hedges) who is enrolled on a gay ‘conversion’ therapy course in the conservative US Bible Belt, where he comes across other young people struggling to reconcile their faith with their sexuality.
Although the film – which also starred Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe – was tipped for success, it only managed to pull in $11.8 million at the box office, barely surpassing its production budget.
And now Edgerton – who starred and directed the picture – has admitted he wished he had signed an agreement with streaming giant Netflix so more people could have accessed the film.
He told Indiewire: “We had a really interesting debate about which way to go. Focus had this incredible track record with putting out these LGBTQ films like Brokeback Mountain and Milk, so I felt we were in the right hands.
“We wanted to create a face-to-face scenario where we’d have face time with audiences and have Q&As and generate discussions. To me, it felt like that was the right way to go.
“The moment you put something on a streaming platform, everybody in every household in all these countries can see it at the exact same time.
“You don’t get that chatter — and this was sad for me — of, ‘When is this film coming to my country?’ or, ‘I have to drive five hours to see it,’ or, ‘I just can’t afford the time and money.'”