EXCLUSIVE: Disney has acquired screen rights to the Matthew Charman play The Machine for Disney-based Mandeville producing partners David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Charman will adapt his play about the 1997 chess match between an IBM computer called Deep Blue and its designer Dr. Hsu, pitted against chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. The famed battle between human brain and machine is history so — spoiler alert — Kasparov won the first match and Deep Blue the rematch. Charman developed the play with the Manchester International Festival, and it premiered as part of that event in July as a co-production with Donmar Productions. The Machine made its U.S. premiere earlier this month at The Park Avenue Armory. The London-based Charman wrote the plays A Night At The Dogs, The Five Wives Of Maurice Pinder and The Observer, all of which made their world premieres at The Royal National Theatre where he became a writer in residence. He separately scripted the Michelle Williams-starrer Suite Francaise, directed by Saul Dibb for The Weinstein Company, and Charman scripted the science fiction project 200 Miles for Working Title. Charman also wrote the six-part mini Our Zoo, which starts production this fall for BBC One.
Alexander Young will be executive producer on The Machine and Hal Vogel will co-produce. Charman’s repped by CAA, ITG, and Jeff Silver.