Fresh off the acclaim for his sophomore feature The Son from the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, fast rising director Florian Zeller, who won an Oscar for his directorial debut The Father, has lined up his next project. And it isn’t, as many might have expected, the adaptation of his play The Mother.
The acclaimed theater director and writer is set to direct, write and co-produce the TV adaptation of playwright Stefano Massini’s Tony-winning play The Lehman Trilogy, having teamed up with Lorenzo Mieli (The Apartment Pictures, a Fremantle company) and Domenico Procacci (Fandango).
The Lehman Trilogy marks the first project from Zeller’s production company Blue Morning Pictures, which he recently launched with Mediawan and industry veteran Federica Sainte-Rose.
Massini’s epic drama charts the history of one of the global financial institutions that helped spark the 2008 recession. The original production inspired Sam Mendes to stage an English-language version of Massini’s five-hour play. Adapted by Ben Power, the production won five Tony Awards earlier this year, including prizes for Mendes’ direction and for the lead performance of Simon Russell Beale.
“I am delighted to be working with Lorenzo Mieli and Domenico Procacci to help bring this epic story to life,” said Zeller. “The Lehman trilogy is a fascinating tale of family and power which spans decades in an ever-changing social and political landscape in America. I could not dream of a richer canvas on which to work, and so grateful to everyone who made this a reality.”
The series will be exec produced by Mieli and Procacci, who will join forces again following the huge international success of the acclaimed series My Brilliant Friend based on the Elena Ferrante novels. Federica Sainte-Rose and Lorenzo De Maio of De Maio Entertainment were instrumental in bringing the partnership together and will executive produce.
“I am thrilled to be working with Florian and excited to see the brilliant and unexpected way he will reinvent Stefano Massini’s beautiful and award-winning play for the screen,” said Miele. “I find it interesting and stimulating that it will be, once again, a great European writer telling the life and death of an institution symbol of the great power and also the shocking fragility of the American dream for over a century.”
Added Pracacci: “Stefano Massini wrote such a strongly original and wonderfully unique text. It takes genius to handle such valuable narrative material. It took Luca Ronconi and then Sam Mendes to transform those pages into exceptional staging in the theater. And I am delighted that Florian Zeller has decided to dedicate his enormous talent to making those same pages become a series that now has every chance to become memorable.
Zeller is represented by CAA and Adequat in France, as well as attorneys Carlos Goodman and Mitch Smelkinson at Goodman Genow Schenkman Smelkinson & Christopher.