Endeavor Content has optioned Emily Ziff Griffin’s New Yorker essay “The Last Dance with My Dad” for film, with Lynette Howell Taylor and Samantha Housman on board to produce the adaptation for 51 Entertainment.
The Last Dance with My Dad is billed as a coming-of-age story about a father-daughter bond set against the backdrop of unique and unexpected life-changing realities. In the article published September 2, Griffin reflects on a Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico cruise for gay men that she took with her father as a teen at the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1991.
Griffin will handle the screenplay adaptation and exec produce the project.
“This film is a love letter to my dad, and to the gay community that raised me. It’s a story of joy and freedom and connection,” said Griffin, “and I could not be more thrilled to have the support of 51 Entertainment and Endeavor Content as we move forward toward making it.”
“The Last Dance with My Dad is a beautiful tribute to a father-daughter relationship, about being in the moment, finding joy when confronted with life’s challenges, and a beautiful coming-of-age story about finding your voice,” said Endeavor Content SVPs of Film Development and Production, Negeen Yazdi and Dan Guando. “This will be a movie that people will want to watch again and again.”
“Emily’s heart-soaring writing captures her unique experience as a teenage girl immersed in her dying father’s gay lifestyle with the rare blend of poignancy, levity, and authenticity that makes the best films,” added Taylor. “We can’t wait to bring this to the screen.”
Griffin is a screenwriter, producer, author and essayist who also penned the critically acclaimed YA novel Light Years, which she is adapting for television. She recently served as a writer on Endeavor Content/Apple TV+’s upcoming limited series, based on the life of actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr, which is exec produced by and stars Gal Gadot. Her essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the Yale Review, Self, Refinery29, Rookie, and Culture Trip. She also previously co-founded Cooper’s Town Productions with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, running the company for 10 years.
Taylor is an Oscar- and Emmy-nominated producer who founded 51 Entertainment in 2017. Since then, her company has established a first look TV deal with Endeavor Content, developing across film, television, unscripted, and live theater. Taylor most recently exec produced Derek Cianfrance’s HBO limited series I Know This Much Is True, also producing the 92nd Academy Awards. Her credits on the film side include A Star Is Born, Captain Fantastic, The Accountant and Blue Valentine, among other titles.
Endeavor Content most recently produced Netflix’s The Lost Daughter, the psychological drama starring Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley and Dakota Johnson, with which Maggie Gyllenhaal made her feature directorial debut. The film based on the novel of the same name by Elena Ferrante had its world premiere at the 78th Venice Film Festival, where Gyllenhaal won the award for Best Screenplay. It’s scheduled for a limited release in U.S. theaters on December 17, and will debut on the streamer on December 31.