Roadside Attractions has revealed the new trailer for Joe Bell, starring Mark Wahlberg and opening in theaters on July 23, 2021. The film was directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men, upcoming King Richard).
Joe Bell tells the intimate and emotional true story of an Oregonian father who pays tribute to his gay teenage son Jadin, embarking on a self-reflective walk across America to speak his heart to heartland citizens about the real and terrifying costs of bullying.
In the Spring of 2013, working-class father Joe Bell quit his job at the plywood mill in the small Western town of La Grande, Oregon and walked out the door of his family home.
Carrying only the barest necessities and a heart weighted with regret, he started on foot to New York City, where his son Jadin had dreamed of starting a new life. It was a trip Joe never expected to take, a trip he wasn’t entirely ready to take.
Jadin Bell was 15 years old when he died by suicide after the trauma of intense, daily bullying by his classmates. The only openly gay student at his school, he made a big impression on those who knew him best. Jadin was a kind, creative and fun-loving young man, a high school cheerleader and a lover of fashion and photography.
To honor Jadin, his father took to the heartland road, while reeling with raw emotions and his own baggage of shame, shortcomings and guilt.
His son gone, Joe hoped to find on his trek other small town LGBTQ teenagers and families who struggled in silence or shadow, and share with them his story — Jadin’s story — so that even one family might learn greater acceptance and be spared the remorse that consumed and propelled Joe.
What Joe did not foresee was the vast impact this lone act of endurance, of reaching out in places where too many were in hiding for being who they were, would make.
The more he walked, the more he experienced the kindness of strangers and forged connections with people just like him, as well as with people nothing like him – which, in turn, brought him closer to truly seeing Jadin for who he was for the first time.
This is the journey followed in Joe Bell, based on the emotional, true father-son story.
As the impassioned and psychically wounded Joe, Mark Wahlberg, who is also a producer, reveals an unseen side—that of an ordinary man doing the hard work of reckoning with himself, grappling with the costs of his mistakes and prejudices, while stumbling towards the hope of redemption.
Joe Bell is an elemental love story, a family’s love story, complicated by the world we live in. Taking up those complications with a keen sensitivity is director Reinaldo Marcus Green.
The producers include Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker, Eva Maria Daniels, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Ryan W. Ahrens, Ben Renzo, Mark Wahlberg, and Stephen Levinson.