I just received the following press release.
The Weinstein Company Acquires Worldwide Rights to Feature-Film Adaptation of Pulitzer, Tony Award-Winning Play “August: Osage County”
NEW YORK (November 10, 2008) 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.
About The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company (TWC) was created by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films Corporation in 1979. TWC is a multi-media company that officially launched on October 1, 2005. Dimension Films, the genre label that was founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, is also included under the TWC banner.
About Jean Doumanian Productions
Based in New York City, Jean Doumanian Productions produces works for film and theatre. Under the leadership of Ms. Doumanian, the company has produced films by David Mamet (The Spanish Prisoner), David Gordon Green (All the Real Girls), Woody Allen (Bullets Over Broadway, Everyone Says I Love You, Mighty Aphrodite, Deconstructing Harry, Sweet and Lowdown, Celebrity, and Small Time Crooks), Barbara Kopple (Wild Man Blues), and Jason Alexander (Just Looking). The company’s productions have been nominated for multiple Academy Awards and Golden Globes, including Sven Nykvist’s The Ox, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign language film. Currently, Jean Doumanian Productions is a lead producer on August: Osage County on Broadway. Written by Tracy Letts, August won five 2008 Tony Awards including Best Play and earned the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. The company’s other Broadway credits include Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers, Michael Frayn’s Democracy, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Amour, and Off-Broadway highlights include The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Fuddy Meers, Bat Boy the Musical, Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight, Dinah Was, and Death Defying Acts.
About Steve Traxler
Steve Traxler is President and Co-Founder of Jam Theatricals, a Chicago entertainment company that operates Broadway subscription series in 35 markets throughout North America and has presented almost all of the major touring productions including Hairspray, Stomp, Chicago, Les Miserables,The Producers, Cats, Mamma Mia!, Riverdance, and Miss. Saigon. Steve oversees the company’s producing efforts on Broadway and is the recipient of four Tony Awards for producing This season he served as a lead producer of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning August: Osage County written by Tracy Letts. Additonal Tony Award winning productions include The History Boys (Best Play, 2006), Monty Python’s Spamalot (Best Musical, 2005), and Glengarry Glen Ross (Best Revival of a Play, 2005) in which he also served as a lead producer . Additional Broadway credits include Tony-nominated productions of Rock ‘N’ Roll (2008), The Seafarer (2008), Talk Radio (2007), The Wedding Singer (2006), The Retreat from Moscow (2004) and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (2003). This season on Broadway, Steve is serving as a lead producer on: David Mamet’s Speed the Plow, Neil LaBute’s Reasons to be Pretty, Blithe Spirit and Bob Falls’ revival of Desire Under the Elms. Steve is a member of The Broadway League and sits on numerous philanthropic boards in Chicago including Gateway Green in which he serves as Vice-Chairman and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Goodman Theatre.