Heyday Films and BBC Films have secured film rights to Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s legendary musical, Follies.
Follies will be adapted for the screen and directed by four-time Olivier Award-winning and BAFTA nominated theatre, TV and film director and writer, Dominic Cooke (On Chesil Beach). Cooke directed the critically acclaimed, award-winning revival of Follies at the National Theatre in London in 2017, which returned again in 2019 due to popular demand.
Based on the book by James Goldman and with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Follies features classic songs including Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here and Losing My Mind. It first appeared on Broadway in 1971, going on to be nominated for eleven Tony Awards and winning seven.
Follies will be produced by David Heyman (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Marriage Story) and Rosie Alison (Paddington 1 and 2, Testament of Youth). Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Films, will Executive Produce.
Stephen Sondheim said: “Over the years, there have been many attempts to bring Follies to the screen, but not until Dominic Cooke’s brilliant production at the National Theatre of Great Britain did it seem like it could be a real movie. I’m more than delighted, I’m thrilled, that it’s finally going to happen.”
Dominic Cooke said: “I’ve always loved Stephen Sondheim’s work and directing Follies at the National Theatre was a dream come true. Every note, every word of every song from Losing My Mind through Broadway Baby to I’m Still Here charts exactly where the character is emotionally and psychologically. Such material is gift for any director. James Goldman’s skilful book nods as much to the golden age of movie musicals as to Broadway, so it feels like natural material to turn into a movie. Having the chance to work with such talented, accomplished producers as David Heyman and Rosie Alison, plus the brilliant Rose Garnett and her team at BBC Films, is a huge honour."
David Heyman said: “I’m thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to bring Sondheim and Goldman’s sublime Follies to the screen. And I’m delighted to be working with Dominic Cooke, whose brilliant recent production has set us off on this journey, along with our partners at BBC Films.”
Rosie Alison said: “Sondheim and Goldman’s jewel of a show about a quartet of lovers revisiting their hopes and dreams at a Broadway reunion, has captivated generations of musical lovers. Dominic Cooke’s stunning recent production was revelatory, and we could not be more excited about working with him on a screen adaptation, alongside Rose Garnett and BBC Films.”
Rose Garnett said: “Follies is a spectacular musical which boasts all the ingredients to make the most memorable film. There is no one better to be bringing this to the screen than the brilliant Dominic Cooke whose recent revival was such a joy, and with the fantastic team at Heyday on board we know this will be a truly stellar production.”
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