Two-time Oscar nominated actor Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter, The Departed) is currently filming Good Joe Bell in Salt Lake City, Nevada. His character, Joe Bell, is the father of Jadin, a 15-year-old openly gay high school sophomore (actor Reid Miller) who took his own life after being bullied. After Jadin’s death, Joe Bell pledged to walk from eastern Oregon to the East Coast hoping to change minds of people he met along the way. (Hence, Wahlberg’s long hair and beard.)
Good Joe Bell is based on a true story. The screenplay was written by Larry McMurtry, who won an Oscar for Brokeback Mountain. (McMurtry also won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel Lonesome Dove.)
It’s not a surprise to see McMurtry and Brokeback Mountain star and Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal listed as two of the 11 executive producers on the film — but it might surprise some to see NFL Super Bowl MVP (2010) New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on the list, too. This isn’t Brees’s first taste of Hollywood. He produced the 2019 indie film Selah and The Spades, written and directed by Tayarisha Poe.
Wahlberg recently posted a photo from the set with co-star and fellow Oscar nominee Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump), who plays a sheriff in Good Joe Bell.