‘Oslo’ heading to silver screen

Playwright to adapt Broadway show on 1993 peace talks as film.

April 15, 2017 18:06
1 minute read.
Oslo Accords

Slain Israeli Prime Minister Rabin with former US President Bill Clinton and former PLO President Yasser Arafat after signing the Oslo Accords at the White House on September 13, 1993. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

The very day it officially opened on a Broadway stage, it was announced that the play Oslo – about the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian peace talks – is being adapted as a Hollywood movie.

Film producer Marc Platt – best known for hits such as La La Land and Legally Blonde – has signed on to the project.

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Playwright J.T. Rogers is slated to adapt the script, and director Bartlett Sher will also stay on board, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which first broke the news.

A representative for Marc Platt Productions could not provide more details on the film’s timeline or who else would be involved in the project.

The show had its official Broadway debut on Thursday night, after being in previews for several weeks. The play ran for several months off-Broadway last summer, with rave reviews.

The show follows the little-known story of the integral role a Norwegian couple played in getting the Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table in 1993.

While the play focuses on Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul and her husband, Terje Rod-Larsen, there are plenty of supporting characters that take the stage, including Uri Savir, the Israeli negotiator, deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin and even an appearance by Shimon Peres.

“It’s such a verbal and idea-driven story, but also a visually compelling one,” Rogers told The Hollywood Reporter about the film adaptation. “I always thought that, in the back of my mind, it’d be fascinating to pivot and come at it from a very different way.”

Speaking at a press briefing last month, Sher noted that the Middle East conflict is often “impossible to talk about. Everybody’s opinion is absolutely concretized in one direction or another.”

Rogers, also speaking at the press event, added that nevertheless they felt a certain element of freedom discussing Israelis and Palestinians and peace in such a forum.

“We’ve been very up front that this is not a documentary,” he said. “It’s a work of art.”

The play is scheduled to remain on Broadway until mid-June. In early September it will premiere in London, running first at the Lyttelton Theatre and then at the Harold Pinter Theatre.

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