Styler will make her narrative directing debut adapting author James St. James’ best-selling novel, which centers on Billy Bloom, a cross-dressing teen at an ultra-conservative private high school. The book was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men’s Debut Fiction.
Bette Midler will play Billy’s mom and Lorraine Touissant his nanny. AnnaSophia Robb will co-star as Billy’s friend. Casting is currently underway for the lead role. Shooting is scheduled to start at the end of the month.
Styler’s previous feature was 2002’s “The Sweatbox,” a documentary about the struggle her husband Sting and the filmmakers underwent to complete the animated film “The Emperor’s New Groove.” Styler will also add “Freak Show” to her extensive producing credits.
Here’s the book synopsis for “Freak Show”:
Meet Billy Bloom, new student at the ultra-white, ultra-rich, ultra-conservative Dwight D. Eisenhower Academy and drag queen extraordinaire. Actually, “drag queen” does not begin to describe Billy and his fabulousness. Any way you slice it, Billy is not a typical seventeen-year-old, and the Bible Belles, Aberzombies, and Football Heroes at the academy have never seen anyone quite like him before. But thanks to the help and support of one good friend, Billy’s able to take a stand for outcasts and underdogs everywhere in his own outrageous, over-the-top, sad, funny, brilliant, and unique way.