THE NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN LOOK AT JFK’S MOST IMPORTANT LIFELONG FRIENDSHIP
The Michael Grandage Company (MGC) announces today that Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage will helm the feature film Jack and Lem. Based on the book Jack and Lem: The Untold Story of an Extraordinary Friendship by David Pitts, the film will explore the incredible thirty-year friendship between John F. Kennedy and Kirk Lemoyne Billings (aka "Lem"). David Scearce (A Single Man) is adapting the book for the screen.
Despite growing up on opposite sides of the tracks, Kennedy and Billings met at prep school and remained best friends until the Dallas gunfire that ended Kennedy's life. Remarkably, Lem was a gay man at a time when homosexuality was illegal. Kennedy maintained their close bond despite warnings that it would derail his political career. Lem became a fixture in the Kennedy White House (he even had his own bedroom), and was the moral compass for the President during one of the most tumultuous times in American History.
Jack and Lem will be Tony Award winner Michael Grandage’s second feature film, following Genius starring Colin Firth, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman. Grandage most recently directed Disney’s smash hit musical Frozen on Broadway, and re-staged his Tony Award-winning production of John Logan’s Red in the West End starring Alfred Molina and Alfred Enoch, which runs through Saturday, July 28 at the Wyndham’s Theatre. It was announced yesterday that Trafalgar Releasing will film the critically acclaimed production to present in selected cinemas across the UK and North America on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. Grandage’s West End production of Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore starring Aidan Turner began performances on June 23, 2018 at the Noël Coward Theatre, where it runs in a strictly limited engagement through Saturday, September 8, 2018. Grandage is the recipient of the Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Evening Standard, British Critics’ Circle and South Bank Awards. His Olivier Award-winning musicals include Merrily We Roll Along, Grand Hotel and Guys and Dolls. Grandage received a Tony Award for Best Direction for Red starring Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne and Tony nominations for Frost/Nixon starring Frank Langella and Michael Sheen and The Cripple of Inishmaan starring Daniel Radcliffe. Grandage served as Artistic Director of London’s Donmar Warehouse before establishing MGC in 2012. As Artistic Director of MGC, he directed Photograph 51 starring Nicole Kidman, Henry V starring Jude Law, The Cripple of Inishmaan starring Daniel Radcliffe, Peter and Alice starring Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw and the feature film Genius. For more information visit www.MichaelGrandageCompany.com.
David Scearce penned the recent Measure of a Man starring Luke Wilson, Judy Greer and Donald Sutherland.
Michael Grandage will produce under his production company MGC, alongside producers Andrew Zoppa and Alex Zoppa.
Grandage is repped by CAA, and Scearce by ICM and attorney Richard Thompson.
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