Disclosure: Tim League, founder and CEO of Birth.Movies.Death.’s parent company Alamo Drafthouse, is a co-founder of NEON.
Every once in a while, a documentary comes along that turns into something of a crossover hit, pulling in audiences that don't typically seek out works of non-fiction cinema. When this happens, there's about a good chance Hollywood will then buy up the story rights and repackage the material as a narrative feature (see also: Catherine Hardwicke's The Lords of Dogtown, Robert Zemeckis' The Walk, this December's Welcome to Marwen), primarily because Hollywood knows that many people simply refuse to watch documentaries, because many people are stubborn and foolish.
Anyway, it's happening again with Tim Wardle's Three Identical Strangers, the Sundance-winning doc that tells the bizarre true story of three apparently identical triplets who were separated at birth, only to encounter one another by pure happenstance later in life*.
"The project, announced Thursday by Film4 president Daniel Battsek, SKE President John Penotti and Raw’s Dimitri Doganis, will see the three outfits develop a new narrative feature film based on the story following widespread interest and multi-studio bidding for the life rights of Robert Shafran and David Kellman, two of the identical triplets at the heart of the documentary."
No word on who'll write or direct the narrative version of Three Identical Strangers, nor is there any word on who might headline the film, but come on: it's gotta be Andy Samberg, right? In all three roles? We'll be stunned if that isn't how this turns out. Maybe even a little Mad Online.
We're curious to see where this takes us, and will keep you informed of further updates as they roll in. Stay tuned.
* = Real talk: this description might not be 100% accurate. I've not seen Three Identical Strangers and skipped THR's plot synopsis because I was worried it might contain spoilers. You might wonder, "Well, Scott, why didn't someone who has seen Three Identical Strangers write this post?", to which I would respond: "Because everyone who's seen it is at SDCC right now, goddamnit, and they have more important things to worry about. Please never speak to me or my three large, identical sons ever again." Good day, sir.