EXCLUSIVE: Monarch Media has picked up the rights to Ken Scott’s best-selling biography Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?
Black List screenwriter Jayson Rothwell has adapted the biopic into a feature film musical. In Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell, cocky British WWII soldier Jim Greasley has sacrificed himself over 200 times by escaping from a German POW camp to both be with the woman he loved –the camp Commander’s personal translator– and to return to camp with food and supplies for fellow prisoners in order to keep them alive.
Monarch principals Steve Barnett and Alan Powel will produce through Monarch Media along with Bernie Goldmann. Monarch Media principal Vicky Patel will executive produce.
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“I have been obsessed with this amazing love story for a long time,” said Barnett. “Along with my partners at Monarch Media, Alan and Vicky, and our producing partner on the project, Bernie Goldmann, we believe Jayson Rothwell has done an incredible job of adapting Ken Scott’s book into a ground-breaking and beautiful musical.”
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“I am a big fan of love stories and there are far too few being produced,” said Goldmann. “This film has all the elements of a great classic and incredibly it is a true story about an amazing man and woman. We are all incredibly excited to bring their story to the screen.”
The project reps the second feature film musical from Monarch Media, with its first production, A Week Away, having sold to Netflix earlier this year. Barnett, Powell and Patel launched Monarch Media earlier this year with a goal to produce two to three feature films a year in all genres, at all budget levels. Deadline first reported that South Korean filmmaker Byung-gil Jung will direct Monarch’s military action thriller Havoc, set inside the North Korean side of the DMZ.
Rothwell adapted the the Dark Horse graphic novel Polar which was turned into a Netflix movie starring Mads Mikkelsen and Vanessa Hudgens. Rothwell also wrote the 2016 Black List screenplay Liberty which is the truly astonishing tale of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the French sculptor wholly responsible for designing, building, and delivering the Statue of Liberty across the Atlantic to where it stands today.
Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell? was published by John Blake Publishing Ltd. Rothwell is repped by United Agents, Syndicate Entertainment, and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. The acquisition of the book rights was negotiated by Marc Simonsson of SoloSon Media.
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