Stop the World! Broadway's COME FROM AWAY to Be Adapted for the Big Screen!
The Mark Gordon Company (MGC) today announced that it will produce and finance a feature film adaptation of the widely acclaimed Broadway musical Come From Away.
Two-time Tony Award nominees and Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award winners Irene Sankoff and David Hein, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, will also adapt the feature screenplay for the project. MGC's Mark Gordon will produce.
The announcement follows a successful awards season for the musical, which won a 2017 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, from a total of seven nominations including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book of a Musical. A "Best Musical" winner all across North America, Come From Away has garnered a long list of additional accolades, including five Outer Critics Circle Awards including "Outstanding New Broadway Musical," three Drama Desk Awards including "Outstanding Musical," four Helen Hayes Awards including "Outstanding Production of a Musical," four Gypsy Rose Lee Awards including "Excellence in Production of a Musical," six San Diego Critics Circle Awards including "Outstanding New Musical," three Dora Mavor Moore Awards including "Outstanding Musical Production" and the "Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award" and three Toronto Theatre Critics Awards including "Best New Musical."
From writers of the musical Sankoff and Hein and directed by Tony Award winner and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Christopher Ashley, with musical staging by two-time Tony Award nominee Kelly Devine and music supervision by Ian Eisendrath, Come From Away tells the remarkable true story of 7000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. On September 11, 2001 the world stopped. On September 12, their stories moved us all.
"Irene, David and Christopher created an experience that celebrates the triumph of humankind's solidarity and compassion in the face of adversity - an experience that is equally breathtaking, inspiring and cathartic. We are proud to create a feature film adaptation to share with audiences around the world," said Gordon.
"When we wrote Come From Away we wanted to honor what happened in Gander on the days following 9/11, and our greatest hope was that someday our musical would be performed in schools to share this remarkable true story," said creators Irene Sankoff and David Hein. "The last year has felt like an amazing dream, with the show traveling across NORTH AMERICA (including a stop in Gander) and continuing to play to standing-room-only audiences on Broadway. A film adaptation on gives us the chance to share this celebration of the best of humanity with audiences everywhere. We are happily overwhelmed that people want to see stories about people caring for others with incredible generosity and compassion."
Sankoff and Hein are a Canadian married writing team. Their first show, My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding (based on David's mother's true story) was the hit of the Toronto Fringe Festival, and then picked up for a commercial run by Mirvish Productions. It has now played and won best musical awards in the New York Musical Theatre Festival and across North America, with Sankoff and Hein performing in most productions. They are represented by Max Grossman at Abrams Artists Agency.
Come From Away began performances on Broadway on February 18, 2017 and officially opened to critical acclaim on March 12, 2017 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 West 45th Street New York, New York), where it continues to play to standing-room-only audiences. It has landed on the "Best Theater of the Year" lists in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Seattle Times, San Diego Union Tribune and Toronto Star, and was featured in The New York Times' "Memorable Theatre of 2016." Come From Away was originally co-produced in 2015 by La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre, and presented in 2016 by Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC and Mirvish Productions at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, CA. It was originally developed at the Canadian Music Theatre Project, Michael Rubinoff Producer, Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada and was further developed at Goodspeed Musicals' Festival of New Artists, in East Haddam, CT. The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, and the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle WA also provided development support.
The Tony Award-winning musical Come From Away will launch a Second Company in Canada where it will play a strictly limited four-week engagement from January 4, 2018 to February 3, 2018 in Winnipeg at the John Hirsch Mainstage - Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, and then move to Toronto where it will begin performances February 13, 2018 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre as part of the 2017 - 2018 Mirvish Subscription Season.
Come From Away is produced on Broadway by is produced by Junkyard Dog Productions (Randy Adams, Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff and Sue Frost), Jerry Frankel, Latitude Link, Smith & Brant Theatricals, Steve & Paula Reynolds, David Mirvish, Michael Rubinoff, Alhadeff Productions, Michael Alden & Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Sam Levy, Rodney Rigby, Spencer Ross, Richard Winkler, Yonge Street Theatricals, Sheridan College, Michael & Ellise Coit, Ronald Frankel, Sheri & Les Biller, Richard Belkin, Gary & Marlene Cohen, Allan Detsky & Rena Mendelson, Lauren Doll, Barbara H. Freitag, Wendy Gillespie, Laura Little Theatricals, Carl & Jennifer Pasbjerg, Radio Mouse Entertainment, The Shubert Organization, Cynthia Stroum, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Gwen Arment/Molly Morris & Terry McNicholas, Maureen & Joel Benoliel/Marjorie & Ron Danz, Pamela Cooper/Corey Brunish, Demos Bizar/Square 1 Theatrics, Joshua Goodman/Lauren Stevens, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams Productions, Bill & Linda Potter/Rosemary & Kenneth Willman, and La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre.
MGC's Sara Smith and Jenna Berger will oversee the project for the company.
Upcoming projects from The Mark Gordon Company's film division include THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS with Lasse Hallström directing, and starring Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, and Misty Copeland; MOLLY'S GAME starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, with Aaron Sorkin writing and directing; and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars alongside a celebrated ensemble cast including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Penélope Cruz and Judy Dench. Past film credits include SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (which earned Gordon Academy Award and BAFTA nominations, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Picture), Steve Jobs, 2012, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, SPEED, SOURCE CODE, THE MESSENGER, and THE PATRIOT, among others. As an executive producer and financier, Gordon's credits include TOMB RAIDER, WONDER BOYS, THE PAINTED VEIL, A SIMPLE PLAN and PRIMARY COLORS.
The company is currently in production on several established television series including "Ray Donovan" (Showtime), "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC), "Criminal Minds" (CBS), and "Quantico" (ABC). The company also serves as co-studio with ABC Studios on "Designated Survivor" starring Kiefer Sutherland, currently in its second season on ABC. Past television credits include "Private Practice" (ABC), "Army Wives" (Lifetime) and "Reaper" (CW).