EXCLUSIVE: Equity and A Call to Spy writer, producer, and star Sarah Megan Thomas has signed on to direct Audrey’s Children, a biographical drama about healthcare hero Dr. Audrey Evans.
Julia Fisher Farbman, whose interview profile of Dr. Evans amassed 17M views, wrote the script. Casting for Dr. Evans will begin soon, we’re told. Production will begin in Philadelphia in October. Fisher Farbman and Thomas will produce.
Evans revolutionized treatment for Neuroblastoma, a deadly form of pediatric nerve cancer, and co-founded Ronald McDonald House Charities, an organization that provides housing and support to millions of families around the world.
In 1970, when 90% of children with Neuroblastoma die, the top U.S. children’s hospital recruits Dr. Evans – a brilliant, yet unconventional British oncologist who sports floral dresses instead of medical garb, sneaks lab animals into hospital rooms, and even talks to her patients about heaven. When Dr. Evans discovers a potentially groundbreaking treatment and wants to test it on dire patients, she clashes with bureaucratic hospital rules that require more data.
Thomas’ Equity from Sony Pictures Classics made its premiere at Sundance in 2016. Her latest feature, A Call to Spy, is the first on three lady spies in Churchill’s “Secret Army,” including Virginia Hall (played by Thomas). The pic, which was released last year, won the Anti-Defamation League’s “Stand Up Award,” as well as several Audience Choice awards.
Fisher Farbman, a Co-Producer on A Call to Spy, co-created, hosted and executive produced Modern Hero (seen on Amazon) an award-winning series that features female role models, including former First Lady, Michelle Obama. Fisher Farbman has interviewed the likes of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. She recently produced the ABC/U.N. Women Special: Celebrate Equality: The Future of Women’s Rights.
Said Thomas, “Julia has written a thought-provoking, emotional, and timely screenplay. It is an honor to be working with her on this character-driven drama that highlights the obstacles we must overcome in the medical field when time is not on our side. On a personal note, while not cancer, both of my children have experienced life-threatening conditions. During my daughter’s lengthy hospital stay, my family even benefited from staying at a Ronald McDonald House, the organization Audrey Co-Founded. I intimately understand how important it is to bring humanity and humor to life’s darkest moments.”
Added Fisher Farbman, “Sarah is gifted at telling entertaining and inspiring stories of unsung female heroes, who are relevant to the world we live in now. Incredible women like Audrey, who despite extreme adversity, changed the lives of millions. Sharing Audrey’s story is the honor of a lifetime, and I can’t imagine a more passionate, talented filmmaker than Sarah to direct this film.”
Adds Dr. Evans, “If you read the script, it makes you feel something. It’s a film with a mission, and that mission is hope.”
Susan Campbell, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philadelphia Region (the first location in the world) exclaimed, “We see the impact of Dr. Evans every single day on the parents and children who can focus on treatment instead of worrying about where they’ll sleep. Audrey’s story is a celebration of a healthcare hero that we all need right now.”
Thomas is repped by Nelson Davis, Leigh Brillstein Management and Bresler Kelly. Fisher Farbman is repped by 3B Law.