The critically acclaimed documentary “Three Identical Strangers,” which made a splash at Sundance, is to be adapted into a feature film. London-based Raw, which produced “Strangers,” is partnering with Film4 and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment on the project, which centers on the true story of identical triplets who were separated at birth and who stumbled across each other as young men by accident.
“Three Identical Strangers,” directed by Tim Wardle, won the Special Jury Prize for Documentary Storytelling at the Sundance Film Festival. It was released in the U.S. on June 29, has just crossed the $3 million mark at the box office and continues to expand into more theaters.
The documentary recounts the astonishing reunion of separated New York brothers Robert Shafran, David Kellman and Eddy Galland as 19-year-olds, and the revelations and events, both heartwarming and disturbing, that followed. After its success at Sundance, the film sparked a “fierce, multi-studio” bidding war for the rights to the life stories of Shafran and Kellman, the two brothers at the heart of the documentary, according to a statement released Thursday by Raw, Film4 and Sidney Kimmel Ent.
“Robert, David and Eddy’s extraordinary story made a huge impact on me when I saw ‘Three Identical Strangers’ at Sundance,” Film4 chief Daniel Battsek said in the statement. “We were all struck by its dramatic potential and look forward to the challenge of capturing the emotion and revelations of the triplets’ journey.”
Added Katherine Butler of Raw: “This is an incredible series of true events that naturally lends itself to a narrative telling, and we are delighted to be working with SKE and Film4 to bring Robert, David and Eddy’s story to the widest audience possible.”
The as-yet untitled feature film will be produced by Butler and Dimitri Doganis of Raw, and by Sidney Kimmel and John Penotti of Sidney Kimmel Ent. Battsek and Sam Lavender of Film4, Josh and Dan Braun of Submarine, and Wardle will serve as executive producers. Mark O’Connor will oversee development for Sidney Kimmel Ent.
“Three Identical Strangers” was backed and executive produced by CNN Films in the U.S. and Channel 4 in Britain. Neon released the film in North America.