“Jersey Boys” takes on Hollywood – Smash hit Broadway sensation heads to the Big Screen – GK Films to produce feature film in groundbreaking deal

In a groundbreaking deal for a Broadway show, Graham King’s GK Films has acquired feature film rights to the smash hit musical stage play “Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.” King and Tim Headington will produce the film to be written by stage play scribes Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.  Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio will executive produce the film.

“Jersey Boys is one of the most electrifying stage shows any of us has ever seen and it has all the ingredients to become a big commercial hit movie,” commented King. “So to now be collaborating with the whole team – Frankie, Bob, Marshall and Rick – to bring that magic to the big screen is just a wonderful dream come true,” he continued.

“We are extremely excited about the passion and commitment expressed by GK Films to take Jersey Boys to another level . Graham King has been a believer from day one. We are in good hands,” said Valli and Gaudio.

Jersey Boys is the legendary story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi and tells the meteoric tale of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were thirty.

With over $1bn in ticket sales for the show that is now playing worldwide, their historic story has been entertaining audiences since the musical stage play opened on Broadway in 2005.  In September 2010 “Jersey Boys” played its 2000th Broadway performance and is on track to become one of the top performing shows of all time.  Written by Brickman and Elice, the stage play is based on materials furnished by Valli and Gaudio.  Originally directed by Des McAnuff and produced by Dodger Theatricals, the plays’ music is written by Gaudio with lyrics by Bob Crewe.

It was an instant hit winning four 2006 Tony Awards including Best Musical.  The Original Broadway Cast Recording, produced by Gaudio, also received the 2006 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Show Album and has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The play went on to also win the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Musical after it opened London’s West End in 2008.

The feature film will be using much of the same music and lyrics in the stage play that features their beloved hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” just to name a few.

GK Films’ Julie Roach negotiated with Ken Ziffren and David Lande of Ziffren, Brittenham, ICM’s Jeff Berg and The Four Season’s Peter Bennett to acquire the film rights.

GK Films has a multi-film output agreement with Sony Pictures.  Under that agreement the studio is releasing GK Films’ production “The Tourist,” starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck on December 10th.  GK Films is currently shooting the adventure “Hugo Cabret,” directed by Martin Scorsese also set for release through Sony Pictures.

King also produced “The Town” directed by and starring Ben Affleck released through Warner Bros. Pictures after its gala debuts at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals and recently completed shooting the animated tale Rango directed by Gore Verbinski and produced with his Blind Wink Productions for Paramount Pictures for a March 2011 release.

GK Films most recently announced it is producing the untitled Freddie Mercury story starring Sacha Baron Cohen with Tribeca Productions and Queen Films from a script by Peter Morgan.

Graham King launched his independent production company GK Films in May 2007 with business partner Tim Headington.

GK Films Photo of the Week 10.01.10

Academy Award® winner Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of “Gangs of New York.” Martin Scorsese is now in production on GK Films’ “Hugo Cabret” starring Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, and Chloe Grace Moretz. For more photos, visit http://gk-films.com.

GK Films’ Photo of the Week 09.24.10

“Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” star Michael Douglas in “Traffic,” winner of four Academy Awards® including Best Director for Steven Soderbergh.  To see more great photos from “Traffic” and get info on upcoming GK Films’ productions, go to http://gk-films.com.

GK Films’ Photo of the Week 09.17.10

Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner star in GK Films’ “The Town,” in theatres today. Set in Boston, the film also stars Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Blake Lively, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper.

King and Queen team up with Tribeca Productions to make Freddie Mercury Film; Peter Morgan to write screenplay; Sacha Baron Cohen to star as Freddie

The film which all Hollywood has been hotly pursuing is finally on track to be made – it is the Freddie Mercury story, this week announced by GK Films in partnership with Robert de Niro’s and Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Productions and Queen Films.

Two-time Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) is already at work on the script of the currently untitled film, which will feature Academy Award® nominee Sacha Baron Cohen in the starring role.

Baron Cohen will play the legendary front man of the iconic rock band Queen, and the currently untitled drama will focus on the years leading up to Queen’s appearance at the historic Live Aid concert in 1985 when the band famously took the event by storm.

Production is set to begin in 2011. GK Film’s Graham King said today, “Queen is one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and a music brand all unto itself.  Freddie Mercury was an awe-inspiring performer, so with Sacha in the starring role coupled with Peter’s screenplay and the support of Queen, we have the perfect combination to tell the real story behind their success.”

Baron Cohen is currently starring in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo Cabret,” also produced by GK Films. His recent credits have included “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and his “Bruno” and “Borat” feature films, based on characters from his British TV series “Da Ali G Show.” Baron Cohen was nominated for an Academy Award® for his adapted screenplay for “Borat” as well as winning the Golden Globe for his performance in the comedy feature.  He has also won two BAFTA’s for his work on “Da Ali G Show.”  Baron Cohen is currently writing and plans to star in an Untitled/Goat Herder feature film for Paramount Pictures.

Peter Morgan has seen his career go from strength to strength over recent years.  In addition to his Academy Award®-nominated credits he also recently wrote the acclaimed “The Last King of Scotland” starring Forest Whitaker, who won the Academy Award® for Best Male Actor, ”The Other Boleyn Girl” and “The Damned United,” as well as his Emmy-nominated TV dramas “The Special Relationship” and “Longford.”  His current film “Hereafter” directed by Clint Eastwood is set for its theatrical release through Warner Bros. Pictures following its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Queen have sold over 170 million albums and scored countless number one albums and singles around the world including such classics as “We Will Rock You,” “We are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust.” “Radio Ga Ga,” and, of course, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Queen’s smash hit stage musical “We Will Rock You” continues to pack the 2,000 seat Dominion Theatre in London’s West End nightly, 9 years after its opening, and with additional productions springing up around the world has now been seen by more than 11 million people.

Sacha Baron Cohen is repped by WmE Entertainment.  Peter Morgan is repped by United Talent in the US and Independent Talent Group in the UK.

GK Films’ Photo of the Week 09.10.10

Matt Damon in a scene from Martin Scorsese’s THE DEPARTED, written by William Monahan and also starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg. Graham King won the 2006 Academy Award® for Best Picture for the film that won a total of 4 Oscars.

GK Films’ “The Town” makes its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival

Check out these red carpet photos from the world premiere of GK Films’ “The Town,” directed by Ben Affleck, at the Venice Film Festival.

GK Films’ Photo of the Week 09.03.10

Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes and Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow in The Aviator, directed by Martin Scorsese. The film won five Academy Awards®, including Best Supporting Actress to Cate Blanchett for her portrayal of screen legend Katherine Hepburn. (Click the photo to see a larger version.)

New photos from GK Films’ The Town

New photos from GK Films’ THE TOWN, directed by Ben Affleck, which will make its North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival September 11, 2010. For screening information, visit http://tiff.net. For the official movie website, go to http://thetownmovie.warnerbros.com.

Angelina Jolie set to make feature film directorial debut

Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie is set to make her feature film directorial debut.   A love story set during the Bosnian war, the film focuses on a Serbian man and a Bosnian woman who meet on the eve of the war and the effect the war has on their relationship.

Based on an original screenplay written by Jolie, the actors will be solely compromised of various ethnicities from the region of the former Yugoslavia.

Jolie will produce the film alongside GK Films’ Academy Award winning producer Graham King and King’s business partner Tim Headington.

Jolie, King and Headington most recently collaborated on the upcoming film “The Tourist” starring Jolie and Johnny Depp and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, set for theatrical release on December 10th through Columbia pictures.

In addition to “The Tourist,” GK Films produced “The Town,” written and directed by Ben Affleck, set to be released by Warner Bros. on September 17, 2010.  The company is currently shooting the 3-D film “Hugo Cabret,” directed by Martin Scorsese.