〉 The award-winning play focuses on Rosalind Franklin, a scientist who contributed to the discovery of DNA.
The hit play PHOTOGRAPH 51 is headed from stage to screen – with playwright Anna Ziegler adapting the script from her own source material. Nicole Kidman, who starred in the West End critical favorite, is attached to star with the play’s director Michael Grandage attached to direct. The script will mark Ziegler’s screenwriting debut.
Photograph 51, which opened in London in 2015 under the direction of Grandage, tells the story of the often-overlooked role of Rosalind Franklin, an x-ray crystallographer, and her involvement in the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA whilst at King’s College London.
The play has received stellar reviews and has garnered multiple awards and nominations, particularly for Kidman’s performance, which earned her awards for Best Actress from Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year, Evening Standard Theatre, and WhatsOnStage.
Earlier this year, Grandage suggested in interviews that he and Kidman had discussed the possibility of making the play into a movie – even the idea that they may finance the production themselves. With no additional producers currently involved in the project, that may still be the direction in which Grandage and Kidman are headed, but with Ziegler moving forward with the screenplay, it appears as though the feature adaptation of Photograph 51 is officially underway.
In addition to Photograph, Ziegler’s plays include The Last Match, Boy, A Delicate Ship, and BFF. A graduate of Yale College and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Ziegler has had her plays developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Grandage is the director of Genius, the film based on the 1978 National Book Award-winner Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg. The film, which hit theaters this week, also stars Kidman with Colin Firth, Jude Law, and Guy Pearce. The Tony-award winning director Grandage is currently in the works with a feature adaptation of Guys and Dolls for 20th Century Fox.
Kidman is currently gearing up for the Sofia Coppola Western The Beguilded, a remake of the Clint Eastwood film, where the Oscar winner will star alongside Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning. She will also star in and executive produce the series Big Little Lies, which has been ordered to series at HBO.
Photograph 51 is not the only project currently in the works about the life of Rosalind Franklin. Exposure, a spec written by Haley Schore and Rohan Sethi, is another Franklin biopic that recently sold to Entertainment One, where it is currently in development.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor