Brokeback Mountain writers to make film about man killed by car while walking 5,000 miles across U.S. to highlight homophobic bullying that led to son's suicide 

  • Joe Bell began a 5,000 mile walk across America following death of his son
  • Jadin, 15, hanged himself after being subjected to homophobic bullying
  • Mr Bell planned to walk America to raise awareness about his son's struggles as a gay teenager but was struck by a truck and died 
  • Oscar-winning writers of Brokeback Mountain and True Detective director are to make the tragic story of father and son into a film

The writers of Brokeback Mountain are working on a new film about a father who embarked on a two year journey across America to raise awareness of homophobic bullying after his gay son hanged himself. 

Joe Bell quit his job at a plywood plant in La Grande after his son Jadin killed himself after falling victim to homophobic bullying.

The 48-year-old had planned to walk for two years to spread the message but was knocked down and killed one year into his ambitious challenge. 

Joe Bell hanged himself after falling victim to homophobic bullies

The story of Joe Bell, who embarked on a 5,000 mile journey to raise awareness of homophobia after his son hanged himself after falling victim to bullies is to be made into a film by the writers of Brokeback Mountain

Now Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, who adapted the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain. have teamed up with Cary Fukunaga to tell father and son's tragic story on film, according to Deadline.

Jadin was 15 when he first told his parents he had fallen victim to homophobic bullies. 

His parents tried to help and got him counseling but this was not enough, and he hanged himself in 2013.

He was rushed to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland and put on life support, but there was little brain activity over the next few days and his father and mother Lola Lathrop decided to turn off the machine.

Students turned out in their hundreds to honor him as he lay in hospital and he was remembered as a boy who 'had a gift' to make people smile. The teenager was a cheerleader at his high school and a frequent visitor at an assisted living home for the elderly.

It emerged Jadin had been subjected to relentless bullying over his sexuality at school and on social media.  

Mr Bell was killed when he was struck by a truck in Colorado, as he was just 1,000 miles into his 5,000 miles

Mr Bell was killed when he was struck by a truck in Colorado, as he was just 1,000 miles into his 5,000 miles

Joe Bell told his parents he was being bullied and they sent him to counselling but he ended up hanging himself

Mr Bell stayed in bed for a week after his son's death until he decided to embark on his journey - equipped with two mobile phones, a sleeping bag and a tent. 

He chronicled his journey in video diaries, walking around 25 miles a day. 

Mr Bell walked to raise awareness for Faces for Change, the anti-bullying foundation set up in Jadin's memory. 

But about 1,000 miles into the 5,000 mile trek he was struck on a road by Colorado plains by truck driver Kenneth Raven who is believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Brokeback Mountain screenwriters Diana Ossana and Larry McMurty have been recruited for the film 

Brokeback Mountain screenwriters Diana Ossana and Larry McMurty have been recruited for the film 

Brokeback Mountain, which starred Heath Ledger (left) and Jake Gyllenhaal (right) won an Oscar 

Brokeback Mountain, which starred Heath Ledger (left) and Jake Gyllenhaal (right) won an Oscar 

Mr Bell had called his challenge Joe's Walk for Change and had spoken at a number of schools about homophobia during his 1,000 mile journey.  On one stop he told a youth group about the first time his son told him he was gay, according to the Denver Post.

He said: 'My son didn't choose to be gay. My son was different at a very young age,' Mr Bell had told the group. 'He told his family he was gay because he knew they would accept him. I hugged him and kissed him on the cheek every day. I was proud of him.' 

Fukunaga, who directed True Detective has joined forces with McMurty and Ossana, who won an Oscar for their adaptation of Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain.