EXCLUSIVE: Director Bartlett Sher (Broadway’s Kill a mockingbird), screenwriter JT Rogers (coming from HBO Max Tokyo Vice), and producer Cambra Overend – the team behind the HBO Emmy-nominated film adaptation of Rogers’ play Oslo – launched SRO Productions to develop and present new works for the stage, television and cinema, with projects already in development that will bring the trio together with some of their most famous collaborators.
Already in various stages of development or planning for the new company: A TV series adaptation of the 2010 Rogers play Blood and gifts, a serial adaptation of Robert Caro’s classic biography in 1974 The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, a âgreat musical theater projectâ with producer Marc Platt, and a live musical with Sher’s Kill a mockingbird writer Aaron Sorkin.
SRO declined to provide further details on stage productions at this early stage of their development. In addition to developing and presenting new works, SRO will present covers of classic plays and musicals.
With bases in New York and London, SRO formalizes the well-established collaborative efforts of Sher, Rogers and Overend: the three worked together on the HBO film. Oslo, while Sher, as resident director at Lincoln Center Theater, led the original Off Broadway production in 2016 and the Tony-winning Broadway production in 2017.
(Rogers’ last play, A giant leap, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, made its Broadway debut in 2019. Overend produced this project, a New York Times collaboration starring Jeff Daniels and Samuel L. Jackson.)
Sher, who was nominated for Nine Tony Awards, winner for South Pacific, also conducted Rogers’ first play Blood and gifts, a drama about the struggle between Americans, Soviets, British, Pakistan and secular Afghans for control of Afghanistan in the 1980s. SRO will develop a television series based on the play.
Producer Overend was an executive producer on the Oslo film starring Ruth Wilson and Andrew Scott, and is currently a producer on Tokyo Vice, the next HBO Max series created by Rogers with Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe.
In a joint statement, Sher, Rogers and Overend said: âAfter working together as individual artists for many years, we began to wonder if we could combine our strengths through television, film and film. theater. With our work on Blood and gifts, Oslo, and now Tokyo Vice, we have worked happily and successfully in all three areas. Thus, the idea of ââforming a company where we could both create and produce has become less of a dream than of an inevitability. “
The trio said they “are excited to develop resonant, thought-provoking and hopeful pieces aimed at pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in storytelling – and doing it internationally, with a band various artists, creating a muscular and deeply entertaining work. “
In an interview with Deadline, Sher and Rogers explained that the new company won’t be limited to original works written by the trio or additional adaptations of their own works. Rogers said that, for example, Caro’s monumental non-fiction work The power broker has long been his “passion project” and that the new company will provide an ideal medium to bring the book to the television screen (with a ready-made plum actor role in the form of the iconic mogul of New York Power, Moses).
The production company will also offer its founders the opportunity to re-team with former collaborators, as will be the case in live music projects involving Platt (who produced the Oslo film) and Sorkin, who wrote the film directed by Sher Mocking bird adaptation of the Harper Lee novel.
âJT has spent the last year and a half in Tokyo filming his TV series,â Sher said, âso we hope the reach of [SRO] is international and diverse. If we’re lucky, we can commission and develop work from other writers and directors and help them bring their stories to the screen or to the theaterâ¦ as many diverse and different stories as possible.
The inclusion of stage projects in SRO’s lineup suggests confidence in Broadway’s ability to bounce back from an unprecedented Covid year, a reckoning with the industry’s long-standing racial biases and an abuse scandal on the workplace that saw the resignation of Scott Rudin, one of the most prolific and acclaimed producers. Among the old productions of Rudin: Kill a mockingbird.
“Scott is completely out of Mocking bird, entirely, on every level, âSher told Deadline. “And we are really lucky to have Orin Wolf as our [new] producer. He did The group’s visit, and I worked on tours with him and planning the Mockingbird tour. He’s an excellent producer.
Mocking bird returns to Broadway on October 5 at the Shubert Theater, with original stars Jeff Daniels (as Atticus Finch) and Celia Keenan-Bolger (as Scout Finch) reprising their roles. (A nationwide tour kicks off next year, with Richard Thomas as Atticus, and the West End with Rafe Spall in the role.)
“Mocking bird will be starting rehearsals in September, âsaid Sher,â and I think anyone who participates in this [Broadway] journey is hopeful and cautious. Because of what we have been through with the pandemic, we are changing all the ways we work. So it’s not just the changes in the protocols for the Covid and in the mandates for vaccines and masks, but also if I come back to a project like Mocking bird, I have to see him again. I think we have to approach our way of working differently. Issues of diversity, inclusion and equity need to be approached in a new way as we approach our work. I am re-examining all of my ways of working.