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COME FROM AWAY Film Adaptation in the Works!

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  • Jeffrey Kare
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    #1202411799

    Oscar nominated producer Mark Gordon (Saving Private Ryan) has recently purchased the film rights to Come From Away, meaning that he’ll be producing a feature film adaptation of the musical…
    https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Stop-the-World-Broadways-COME-FROM-AWAY-Being-Adapted-for-the-Big-Screen-20171115

    No timetable, casting, nor director has been announced yet, though the creators of the musical, Irene Sankoff & David Hein are set to write the screenplay.

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    adamunc
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    We’ll see if this ever comes to fruition. Lots of options get sold and the movie never gets made.

    There is probably a great movie in the story of Gander, but I don’t think it’s to be found in adapting Come From Away. It was designed to be an intimate, episodic look at some distilled moments from the event, which would not work on screen.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    I know when Broadway musicals get optioned for feature films, they’d usually like to let the stage properties live and breathe on their own for a while to allow more people to see them. Which is why Wicked hasn’t made it to the big screen yet.

    It’s obviously not the same thing as adapting a novel for the big screen where everyone can buy a copy of the book because theatre productions are much more limited.

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    adamunc
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    The current stage hit I think is most ripe for a film adaptation is The Book of Mormon. That property would work very well on screen, and it’s been running on Broadway for going on seven years now and has toured extensively. There was talk of a film version when it became a mega-hit and transferred to London, but I’m surprised a movie adaptation hasn’t moved further along.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    Now it has been announced that Tony winner Christopher Ashley will repeat his duties as director for the film…
    https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Tony-Award-Winner-Christopher-Ashley-Will-Direct-Big-Screen-Adaptation-of-COME-FROM-AWAY-20171116

    What’s interesting about this is that Ashley has directed two feature films before, though neither of them were critically-acclaimed. In 1995, he made a film adaptation of Paul Rudnick’s play Jeffrey (not about me, obviously), which he also originally directed on stage. But overall, the film itself received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics. It wasn’t until a few years ago when he finally made a follow-up film which was an adaptation of Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty’s debut musical, Lucky Stiff, which received very mixed-to-negative reviews (though I must say, while the film wasn’t great, I still certainly got a kick out of it).

    Not only that, but the overall track record for stage directors repeating their directorial duties on film adaptations of their musicals hasn’t been great. While there has been some exceptions to the rule such as…

    George Abbott (with Stanley Donen)-The Pajama Game & Damn Yankees
    Joshua Logan-South Pacific
    Jerome Robbins (with Robert Wise)-West Side Story
    Morton DaCosta-The Music Man
    Jim Sharman-The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    There’s also been…
    Gene Saks-Mame
    Harold Prince-A Little Night Music
    Susan Stroman-The Producers
    Phyllida Lloyd-Mamma Mia!

    Though there is an interesting case for the film adaptation of 1776 (which was directed by Peter Hunt, who won a Tony for directing the original Broadway production) where while it hasn’t really been seen as an all-time classic, it still has such a devoted cult following.

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    Alex Meyer
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    I’m surprised by now they haven’t greenlit a Dear Evan Hansen film adaptation as well.

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    vinny
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    I’m surprised by now they haven’t greenlit a Dear Evan Hansen film adaptation as well.

    I kinda hope HBO or Netflix nabs that one.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    As I’ve mentioned before, when Broadway musicals get optioned for feature films, they’d usually like to let the stage properties live and breathe on their own for a while to allow more people to see them. It’s not the same thing as adapting a novel for the big screen where everyone can buy a copy of the book because theatre productions are much more limited.

    Though given how successful Newsies was, I wonder if Dear Evan Hansen could ever be filmed professionally for Fathom Events.

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    adamunc
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    The Dear Evan Hansen national tour hasn’t even gone out yet, so I think we’re a few years away at least from any sort of filmed version.

    I wonder if the lackluster box office for the Miss Saigon revival has made people think twice about putting filmed versions out there when the stage run hasn’t completed. Fathom had a successful run of a filmed Saigon from the London production that played in the states before the revival opened and the hope was it would drum up more interest in the Broadway production. But that doesn’t appear to have happened.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    And we see shows like Allegiance, which failed on Broadway, yet proved to be much more successful as a Fathom Event in movie theaters.

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    Alex Meyer
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    Christopher Ashley revealed to Playbill some of his ideas about the film. http://www.playbill.com/article/director-christopher-ashley-reveals-plans-for-the-come-from-away-movie

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