‘Three Identical Strangers’ Doc to Be Adapted Into Feature Film
Truth is stranger than fiction, so it’s only a matter of time before compelling true stories get turned into narratives. Such is the case with “Three Identical Strangers,” a genuinely hard-to-believe documentary about triplets separated at birth who only learned of their siblings’ existence 20 years later — and the circumstances of their adoption.
Raw, which produced Tim Wardle’s acclaimed doc, has announced that it’s partnering with Film4 and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE) on a feature adaptation of the story.
The project was announced Thursday by Film4 president Daniel Battsek, SKE President John Penotti and Raw’s Dimitri Doganis. The feature garnered widespread interest and multi-studio bidding for the life rights of Robert Shafran and David Kellman, two of the identical triplets at the heart of the documentary.
Set in New York over several decades, Three Identical Strangers documented the true story of Shafran, Kellman and Eddy Galland, three complete strangers who inadvertently discover that they are identical triplets who were separated at birth. When the 19-year-olds’ joyous reunion catapults them to international fame, it also sets a chain of extraordinary and disturbing events in motion.
Raw’s documentary, directed by Tim Wardle and financed and executive produced by CNN Films and the U.K.’s Channel 4, was the highest-grossing limited release documentary, per screen, of the year thus far on its opening weekend. Currently nearing $3 million at the U.S. box office, the film is still expanding into more cinemas.
Katherine Butler of Raw said that “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”
“Three Identical Strangers” has had a strong showing at the box office so far, earning more than $2.5 million in limited release over the last three weeks. No word yet on casting in this new version of the film, though it’s likely to be a sought-after part — it’s not often that one actor has the chance to play three different characters in the same movie.