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.