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The Hideaway Entertainment’s adaptation of Martin Gray’s best-selling book For Those I Loved has found a writer.
Robert Schenkkan, co-screenwriter of Hacksaw Ridge and a Tony winner for his Lyndon Baines Johnson bio-drama All the Way, will develop and pen a script for the limited series based on the life story of Martin Gray. Schenkkan will also executive produce and adapt the bestselling book by the father of Jonathan Gray, The Hideaway Entertainment founder and CEO.
Martin Gray survived the Holocaust and built a new life in post-war New York City and France. The book For Those I Loved was adapted in 1983 into a French feature film that earned two César Awards nominations, including an acting nod for Michael York.
Schenkkan will offer a small screen and fresh take on Martin Gray’s book, also to be executive produced by Jonathan Gray and Matthew Rhodes for The Hideaway Entertainment. The TV series will center on Gray as a 17-year-old Russian-Polish Jew forced into the Warsaw Ghetto when the Second World War hit Poland.
A heroic Martin Gray chose against vengeance, anger and resentment and opted for hope and optimism to escape capture and survive the Holocaust as he became a clever smuggler, resistance fighter and military officer. For Those I Loved will recall a young man who witnessed his own family get killed at the Treblinka extermination camp, yet found a way to escape and forge ahead in life as a post-war immigrant to New York City.
There Martin Gray built a successful antique business and started a family, only to later lose his wife and four children in a tragic forest fire. But again, For Those I Loved will portray Martin Gray choosing life and to start a new family in France.
“While hate, antisemitism, and racism are unfortunately alive in too many forms around the world today, we can take a lesson from Martin and choose the light, not the dark,” The Hideaway Entertainment says of the project.
The limited series project emerges as The Hideaway Entertainment moves away from big-budget fare to doing more intimate film dramas and now TV.
Schenkkan earned a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1992 for his play The Kentucky Cycle. His other plays include Tony-Winning LBJ bio-drama All The Way, and his writing credits include The Quiet American for Miramax and The Pacific, a miniseries he wrote and co-produced for HBO.
Schenkkan adapted All The Way for HBO, which stars Bryan Cranston as LBJ and was nominated for eight Emmy awards. He co-wrote the Lionsgate film Hacksaw Ridge with Andrew Knight, which Mel Gibson directed.
More recently, Schenkkan penned Friday Night Lights for Universal, with David Gordon Green directing, and Union for Amazon and Joseph Gordon Levitt. His feature film The Lost Airman is in development at Amazon, with Jake Gyllenhaal attached.
The For Those I Loved limited series will be overseen for The Hideaway Entertainment by Kristy Grisham, who will executive produce and Ryan Cassells, who will co-produce. Louis Godfroi will also co-produce.
Originally published in 1971, the book For Those I Loved, written by Martin Gray and Max Gallo, sold over five million copies worldwide and was translated into 26 languages. The limited series adaptation is repped by CAA.
Robert Schenkkan is represented by Mosaic and United Talent Agency.
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