EXCLUSIVE: Brian Yorkey (13 Reasons Why) has optioned the film rights to Dan Mathews’ memoir Like Crazy: Life with My Mother and Her Invisible Friends, tapping Ted Malawer (Halston) to adapt it for the screen.
Like Crazy follows Mathews and his outlandish mother Perry on an odyssey of self-discovery, as the former navigates the perils and rewards of taking in a fragile parent—ultimately discovering she had lived her entire adult life as an undiagnosed schizophrenic. Surrounded by a rag-tag community that rallies to help them, and one man who just may become the love of Mathews’ life, their story descends into the mysteries of mental illness but rises with resilient love.
Atria/Simon & Schuster published Mathews’ memoir in 2020. Yorkey will produce the film adaptation alongside his EVP of Development Jeff Sommerville for their That Kid Ed Productions, as part of the company’s growing feature development slate.
“Dan’s poignant and funny memoir is beautifully written and full of feeling, and it addresses the challenges of mental illness with honesty, courage, and love,” said Yorkey. “It’s just the kind of work we aspire to do—looking bravely into even the darkest corners of the human condition, striving to find meaning, light, and hope. Dan’s fantastic book does exactly this, and we are excited to collaborate with Ted Malawer in bringing it to the screen.”
Mathews is an animal rights activist who formerly served as Senior Vice President of PETA. His writing career launched when he wrote the Details magazine story “The Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Jails,” about the lock-ups he landed in after being arrested at dozens of protests. Twice named by Out magazine as “one of the most influential gays in America,” he is now a director at Save the Chimps, a Florida sanctuary serving as home to more than 220 chimps rescued from labs and circuses. His first memoir, Committed: A Rabble-Rouser’s Memoir, was released in 2007 in a dozen countries—also by Atria/Simon & Schuster.
Yorkey is currently the executive producer and co-showrunner of the upcoming Netflix limited series, Echoes, having served as showrunner, writer and exec producer on Netflix’s hit series 13 Reasons Why over the course of its four seasons. Prior to 13 Reasons Why, he served as co-creator (with composer Tom Kitt) of the acclaimed Broadway musical Next to Normal, which earned them a Tony Award for Best Original Score – Drama in 2009 and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010. Yorkey and Kitt’s additional theater credits include If/Then, starring Idina Menzel, which earned a 2014 Tony Nomination for Best Original Score – Drama, along with a 2016 musical adaptation of Freaky Friday, which subsequently became a TV musical airing on the Disney Channel. Yorkey is also known for collaborating with Sting and three-time Academy Award nominee John Logan on the Broadway musical The Last Ship.
Malawer is a Juilliard-educated playwright, screenwriter and former opera singer who most recently served as a co-executive producer on American Rust Season 2, prior to the series’ cancellation by Showtime. He received a 2022 WGA Award nomination for his work on Netflix’s Halston and has multiple projects in development, including a television series with The Littlefield Company and director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, and an adaptation of one of his plays with Blue Marble Pictures and EDEN Productions. Malawer is the co-writer of the musical Only Gold with Andy Blankenbuehler and Kate Nash, which will premiere Off-Broadway this fall.
Yorkey is represented by The Framework Collective and WME; Malawer by Mosaic, WME and Yorn, Levine, Barnes; and Mathews by the Lynn Pleshette Literary Agency and The Clegg Agency.
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