Before he shipwrecked with “Aloha,” a couple of years back Cameron Crowe was shepherding along an adaptation of David Sheff‘s memoir, “Beautiful Boy: a Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction.” After working through some script issues, Mark Wahlberg circled the movie but Crowe decided to make his Hawaii rom-com instead. Well, producer Brad Pitt is ready to get the wheels in motion again and he’s found a new filmmaker to take charge.
Felix van Groeningen, the filmmaker behind the lovely, heartbreaking and Oscar nominated “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” has now been tasked to helm “Beautiful Boy.” Luke Davies (Anton Corbijn‘s “Life,” and the novel “Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction“) has penned the script which also uses Nic Sheff‘s memoir “Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines” for source material, to tell the story of a father watches his son struggle through meth addiction and recovery. Here’s the synopsis for both books:
“Beautiful Boy”: What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic Sheff became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3 A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? the police? the hospital?), the rehabs. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on Nic.
“Tweak”: Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. As we watch Nic plunge the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It’s a harrowing portrait — but not one without hope.
No word yet on when production might begin, but casting is starting soon, so if you have some suggestions, leave ’em in the comments section below.