James Stern’s Endgame Entertainment is to finance a feature version of Cynthia Wade’s Oscar winning documentary short Freeheld to star Ellen Page (pictured).
Stern will produce with Double Feature Films’ Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, Vie Entertainment’s Kelly Bush, and Wade. Endgame’s Doug Hansen and Adam Del Deo will take executive producer credits.
Ron Nyswaner will adapt the true story about New Jersey car mechanic Stacie Andree (Page) and her detective girlfriend Laurel Hester’s struggle to secure pension benefits after Hester’s diagnosis with a terminal illness.
The battle that ensued with the county legislators exposed government corruption, long-gestating community bigotry and the courage of individuals in a battle for equality that resonated around the world.
“As a documentarian and feature producer, you always look for powerful stories with subject matter that will resonate with audiences, and Cynthia’s remarkable chronicle of the battle forged by two women did just that,” Stern said. “We are thrilled that Double Feature Films brought the project to us and that Ron, Ellen and our production partners are on board to do this unforgettable and relevant story justice.”
“We saw Cynthia’s wonderful documentary and right away we knew it would be a great dramatic film,” Shamberg and Sher said. “Ellen was our first and only choice for this and Endgame is the perfect home.”
Nyswaner earned an Academy Award nomintion for Philadelphia and his adaptation of Hamlet for Catherine Hardwicke is currently in production.
Page stars opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in this summer’s Inception from Christopher Nolan, and recently completed shooting Super opposite Rainn Wilson, Liv Tyler, and Kevin Bacon.