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The prolific producer has boarded a film adaptation of the critically acclaimed Lincoln Center Theater production, which opens tonight at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on Broadway after a hit off-Broadway run.
Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher — who helmed both stagings of Oslo, as well as the musicals Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, South Pacific and The Light in the Piazza — will direct the onscreen adaptation. It will be his feature directorial debut.
Playwright J.T. Rogers is adapting his script of the tense, highly entertaining political thriller, which charts the nine months of secret negotiations in the Norwegian capital that led to the historic White House handshake between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in 1993. Jennifer Ehle and Jefferson Mays are among the ensemble cast.
Rogers — a Brooklyn-based American playwright whose previous dramas include The Overwhelming, Madagascar and Blood and Gifts.— tells THR that he initially considered writing Oslo as a film but opted to pen the play first and narrow its scenes to a series of negotiation rooms. Meanwhile, the subject matter of headlines are projected in the theater.
“It’s such a verbal and idea-driven story, but also a visually compelling one,” he explains. “I always thought that in the back of my mind, it’d be fascinating to pivot and come at it from a very different way. I’m excited to bring back parts I had to cut from the play, and add things like shots of men and women arriving from the Middle East after riding all night in a taxi. Images like that are powerful to this story.”
The film adaptation will follow the play’s London debut at the National Theatre. It will run at the Lyttelton Theatre Sept. 5-23. It will then transfer to the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre in October.
Rogers is repped by WME. Sher is repped by CAA.
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