NEW YORK, The Weinstein Company (TWC) has acquired the worldwide rights to produce and distribute the feature film adaptation of the multiple Tony Award-winning play August: Osage County. Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of TWC, will serve as one of the producers on the film. Weinstein will join Jean Doumanian Productions and Steve Traxler, president and co-founder of Jam Theatricals, who had previously signed on to produce.
Weinstein is a co-producer of the Broadway production of August: Osage County; Doumanian and Traxler are lead producers as are Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel who are on board to executive produce the feature film adaptation.
The film is currently in development, with playwright Tracy Letts, who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for August: Osage County, writing the script. The winner of five 2008 Tony Awards, including Best Play, and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize, the critically acclaimed August: Osage County premiered in summer of 2007 at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre and debuted on Broadway in December 2007.
“This is such an extraordinary piece of material, which comes along once in a great while,” said Weinstein. “I was blown away by Tracy’s play and believe our movie will likewise have an incredible resonance with anyone who has ever been a part of a family. I’ve worked with Jean before and I am a big fan. I’m looking forward to working with her and Steve on this picture.”
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Harvey Weinstein again on August: Osage County – we had previously worked together on films such as Bullets Over Broadway and Everyone Says I Love You. I greatly respect his taste as a filmmaker and a distributor,” said film and theatre producer Jean Doumanian. “I know he is equally passionate about Tracy Letts’ wonderful play, which has spoken to so many people, and I look forward to collaborating with him on the film adaptation.”
“Tracy Letts wrote a great American play and we look forward to making it into a motion picture. We envisioned this as a film before we opened on Broadway and I am so pleased to be working with Tracy and Harvey to make this a reality,” said Traxler.
Ben Famiglietti, vice president of production and development, originally brought the play to Weinstein, who immediately signed on as a co-producer of the Broadway production. Famiglietti also brought the movie rights to TWC. Famiglietti and Rob Scheidlinger, executive vice president of production and business affairs, will oversee the production on behalf of TWC. Patrick Daly, Vice President of Production and Development at Jean Doumanian Productions, will liaise with TWC on August: Osage County.
Scheidlinger negotiated on behalf of TWC, George Sheanshang negotiated on behalf of Doumanian, Traxler, Richards and Frankel.
August begins an eight week engagement at London’s National Theatre on November 21, 2008. The national tour of August launches in Summer 2009.