The Best Picture-nominee “CODA” is going live and will be adapted as a stage musical as developed by Deaf West Theater.
The producers behind “CODA” will work with Deaf West Theater artistic director DJ Kurs on turning Siân Heder’s award-winning film into a stage musical that’s made for the Deaf community.
Vendôme Pictures’ Philippe Rousselet and Fabrice Gianfermi, who produced the original French film on which “CODA” is based, “La Famille Bélier,” are partnering with Pathé’s Jerome Seydoux on the stage project.
Alongside Deaf West, Vendôme and Pathé are currently out to stage directors, composers and writers for the stage project. No specific details were given in terms of when or where the “CODA” musical hopes to debut.
Deaf West is a Los Angeles theater as run by Kurs that weaves ASL with spoken English to create a seamless ballet of movement and voice on stage. It’s been the starting place for some of “CODA’s” stars, including Daniel Durant and Oscar-nominee for Best Supporting Actor Troy Kotsur. Deaf West currently is collaborating with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel to present a new production of Beethoven’s only opera “Fidelio” at Walt Disney Hall that will feature a a star-studded cast of Deaf actors, Deaf performers and hearing singers.
“We, with Pathé, have been humbled and honored to see the success of ‘CODA’ from Sundance, through its premiere on Apple TV+ and awards buzz this season. This is a timeless story that we’ve always believed in and knew would resonate with audiences far and wide,” Vendôme Pictures’ Philippe Rousselet said in a statement. “For this reason, we are looking forward to continuing our incredible journey and bringing this universal story to life from screen to stage. We are excited at the caliber of Broadway talent interested in collaborating with us on the project.”
“In the movie there is a scene where the Deaf members of the Rossi family, confronted with an inaccessible school performance, take in Ruby’s song through the joy of others in the audience. This is an opportunity, then, to bring the story full circle by bringing it back to members of the Deaf community and by making the music accessible through our signed and sung live adaptation of the movie,” Kurs said. “It is in the mission of our organization to be the artistic bridge between the Deaf and hearing communities and we are truly excited and honored to embark on this live iteration of a story that brings together both sides of the aisle and addresses the ways that we move throughout the world.”
“CODA” is the story of a child of Deaf adults in a Massachusetts fishing community who dreams of becoming a singer and joins her school choir against the wishes of her family. The film is now nominated for three Oscars after first winning the top prizes at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021 and releasing on Apple TV+ this summer. The film also stars Marlee Matlin, Emilia Jones and Eugenio Derbez.
The film was the result of a long-standing exclusive production partnership between Vendôme and Pathé. The two companies also have a long-term collaboration on a slate of French-language films, having recently co-produced “Farewell Mr Haffman,” “Promise at Dawn” and “The Lost Prince.”