EXCLUSIVE: We’ve learned that Netflix is adapting the millennial Broadway musical 13 into a family film with three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown to compose new music and Tony winner Robert Horn to adapt the script based on the book he co-wrote with Dan Elish. Tamra Davis is attached to direct.
The musical follows young Evan Goldman as he moves from New York City to small-town Indiana. While grappling with his parents’ divorce, he prepares for his impending Bar Mitzvah, and navigates the complicated social circles of a new school. The Broadway version which ran for a 105 performances between 2008-2009 featured the first and only all-teenager cast and band and marked the professional debuts of Ariana Grande and Elizabeth Gillies. The musical has since been a popular production of high school theater groups. The original production of 13 premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in January 2007.
Brown’s musical credits include The Bridges of Madison Country, Parade, and Honeymoon in Vegas. The multi-hyphenate composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, director and performer has received three Tony Awards for his work on The Bridges of Madison County and Parade. Most recently his off-Broadway musical The Last Five Years was adapted into a film starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan and directed by Richard LaGravenese.
Horn recently wrote Tootsie the Musical, and received a Tony award for his work. He previously co-created the sitcom Partners starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence and penned the hit Disney Channel Original feature Teen Beach Movie.
Davis began her career directing music videos for acts like Tone Loc, Sonic Youth and NWA before directing her first feature Guncrazy starring Drew Barrymore. She’s more recently known for her prolific TV work directing episodes of acclaimed shows such as Empire, Santa Clarita Diet and Crazy Ex- Girlfriend. Davis also helmed the Britney Spears feature Crossroads.
13 is part of Netflix’s growing slate of live action family films featuring kids and teens, which includes this year’s comedy Tall Girl, which is directed by Nzingha Stewart (Grey’s Anatomy, A Million Little Things), produced by Wonderland. Other titles on the slate include 2020 films Feel the Beat, directed by Elissa Down (The Honor List) and starring Sofia Carson; The Main Event directed by Jay Karas (Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife, Break Point) and produced in partnership with WWE Studios; The Sleepover directed by Trish Sie (Pitch Perfect, Step Up All In); and A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting directed by Rachel Talalay (Dr. Who, Sherlock, Tank Girl).
Robert Horn is represented by CAA, A.B. Fischer at Literate, and attorney Ryan Nord at The Nord Group; Jason Robert Brown is represented by CAA. Davis is repped by Verve, 3 Arts Entertainment and Lichter Grossman Nichols.