Logline: As a young New York couple goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child, the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.
Writer/Director: DAN FOGELMAN had never studied screenwriting when he wrote his first script, a Wonder Years-style spec about his bar mitzvah, which landed him a manager and agent and led to his first professional writing assignment — on Pixar’s Cars. After creating a string of short-lived sitcoms, including Galavant and The Neighbors, both on ABC, Fogelman took an unfinished feature spec script about sextuplets called 36 and turned it into his breakout NBC hit drama This Is Us, which is currently nominated for five primetime Emmy awards. The same day that series received its first Golden Globe nominations, the screenplay for Life Itself landed in a three-way tie for the second spot on the 2016 Black List, the industry’s survey of the best scripts not already in production (alongside The Post, which was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar last year). Fogelman’s other feature writing credits include Fred Claus, Bolt, Tangled, Crazy Stupid Love, The Guilt Trip, Last Vegas, and Danny Collins, which starred Al Pacino and was Fogelman’s directorial debut.
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Life Itself stars Oscar Isaac (Star Wars 7-9), Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy), Annette Bening (American Beauty), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Jean Smart (Legion), Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One), and international superstar Antonio Banderas (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!).
Producers and Production Companies: Executive producer Glen Basner’s FilmNation (Arrival, The Founder) purchased the spec script after it appeared on the 2016 Black List. FilmNation’s co-president, Aaron Ryder (Hamlet 2, The Prestige), was one of the producers, alongside producing partners Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey for Temple Hill Entertainment (the Twilight saga, The Fault in Our Stars).
Release Date: Life Itself is scheduled to have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival before opening nationwide in theaters on September 21 (Amazon Studios).
Rated R. 117 minutes. 116 pages (March 4, 2016 draft). Drama, Romance.
A special guest moderator will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion.