‘Follies’: Stephen Sondheim Musical Getting Film Treatment From ‘On Chesil Beach’ Director Dominic Cooke, Heyday, BBC Films

Follies, the Tony and Olivier Award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical, is being adapted into a feature film by On Chesil Beach filmmaker Dominic Cooke.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Marriage Story producer David Heyman is overseeing the project with Rosie Alison at their banner Heyday Films. Rose Garnett of BBC Films is executive producer.

Four-time Olivier Award-winner Cooke will adapt the screenplay and direct the feature. He previously helmed the 2017 stage revival of Follies at the National Theatre in London, which returned in 2019 due to popular demand.

Based on the book by James Goldman, and with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Follies first ran in 1971. It features the songs Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here and Losing My Mind. Set in a Broadway theater scheduled for demolition, the story follows a reunion of former performers in the crumbling building.

“Over the years, there have been many attempts to bring Follies to the screen, but not until Dominic Cooke’s brilliant production at the National Theatre of Great Britain did it seem like it could be a real movie. I’m more than delighted, I’m thrilled, that it’s finally going to happen,” commented Stephen Sondheim.

“Such material is a gift for any director. James Goldman’s skilful book nods as much to the golden age of movie musicals as to Broadway, so it feels like natural material to turn into a movie,” added Cooke.

“I’m thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to bring Sondheim and Goldman’s sublime Follies to the screen. And I’m delighted to be working with Dominic Cooke, whose brilliant recent production has set us off on this journey, along with our partners at BBC Films,” said Heyman.

Alison added that Cooke’s theater production was “revelatory”, while Garnett commented that Follies “boasts all the ingredients to make the most memorable film”.

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