Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that more feature films will be coming to Disney+, and here’s what looks to be another marquee title in the wake of the streamer’s announcement earlier this week to debut Hamilton over July 4th weekend. Disney+ Global Content has made their first feature acquisition, Clouds, about 17-year old Zach Sobiech, who before dying of a rare bone cancer in May 2013, formed the band A Firm Handshake and recorded the hit single “Clouds”. Pic will hit the streaming service this fall in all territories.
“Clouds” charted on the Billboard Hot 100, and became a hit in the UK, Canada, and France, clocking No. 1 on iTunes seven years ago.
Clouds was shot in Montreal, and is based on the memoir Fly a Little Higher by Laura Sobiech, Zach’s mother, adapted by Kara Holden. Pic is directed and produced by Wayfarer Studios co-founder Justin Baldoni (Five Feet Apart).
Clouds follows Zach’s journey over the course of his senior year as he navigates the complexities of love, friendship, family and leaving behind a musical legacy. Fin Argus (The Gifted) as Zach Sobiech, Sabrina Carpenter (The Hate U Give) as his best friend and bandmate Sammy, Madison Iseman (Annabelle Comes Home, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) as Zach’s girlfriend Amy, Thomas Everett Scott (13 Reasons Why, La La Land) and Neve Campbell (Skyscraper, House of Cards) as his parents, Laura and Rob. Jason Mraz plays himself in the film and sings in it, as well.
“I fell in love with Zach’s infectious joy and spirit seven years ago when I made a short documentary about his life. Just before he passed, I made a promise to him that I would do whatever I could to make sure the world heard his music,” said Baldoni. “In the age of COVID-19, with the future of the theatre business up in the air, it was extremely important to me to ensure Zach’s message of hope, faith and triumph in the face of adversity truly had the opportunity to touch as many hearts around the world as possible. That’s why I’m so excited to be partnering with Disney+ for my first film under our Wayfarer Studios banner, as it’s the perfect home and platform to bring Zach’s incredible story to the world.”
“Justin has created a poignant and uplifting tribute to Zach, whose story shows us the power of optimism, music, and human connection,” said Ricky Strauss, president, Content & Marketing, Disney+. “As our team searches the world for stories that entertain and inspire, ‘Clouds’ is a fantastic fit for Disney+ and our global audience.”
Clouds is a Mad Chance/La Scala Films Production, co-financed by Wayfarer Studios, and produced by Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar, Baldoni for Wayfarer Studios and Casey La Scala. Steve Sarowitz, Wendy S. Williams and Cate Adams are also EPs, and Ben Simpson is a co-producer. Endeavor Content and Wayfarer Studios brokered the deal of the film.
Baldoni is represented by WME. Holden is repped by Verve and Anonymous Content.