MWM Studios Developing Historical Drama 'The House That Will Not Stand'

Courtesy of Jared J. Oates/MWM Studios
Marcus Gardley

The feature, an adaptation of a play by Marcus Gardley, will be set in the 1800s in Faubourg Treme in New Orleans.

MWM Studios is developing a feature adaptation of Marcus Gardley's play The House That Will Not Stand. MWM's Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane will develop the project with producer Diane Nabatoff.

The House That Will Not Stand, which premiered this summer at the New York Theater Workshop, is a historical comic drama set in 1813 in Faubourg Treme in New Orleans. Loosely inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca’s play The House of Bernarda Alba, the story centers on the lives of the free women of color who became millionaires within the system of plaçage — the common-law marriages of white men and black Creole women — and fought against racial oppression pre-Civil War. 

The play earned Gardley, an alum of the Yale School of Drama, the 2015 Glickman Award,  and it was a finalist for the 2015 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History.

“Marcus is an extraordinary playwright and we are so honored that he has decided to collaborate with MWM on this project,” said Shane and MWM COO Adrian Alperovich. “The House That Will Not Stand fits in perfectly among the roster of projects MWM Studios produces. It is such an impactful piece that deeply resonates with us and the stories we like to tell, and we are thrilled to develop this play into a feature film.”    

The House That Will Not Stand invites us into a little-known moment in history — a time where definitions of property, slavery and love are turned on their head,” added Nabatoff.

“I am so excited to be working with Diane and the MWM team to transform The House That Will Not Stand into a film,” said Gardley. “I can’t wait to revisit these characters and share more of their lives and world. Even when I conceived the play, I always saw the film version.”

Gardley, whose screen credits include Showtime's The Chi, Fox's The Exorcist and Amazon's Z: The Beginning of Everything, is repped by WME, Manage-ment and Jackoway Austin.