EXCLUSIVE: Amblin TV and Playtone have partnered with LD Entertainment to produce a feature documentary adaptation of Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas, based on the 2019 memoir by Oscar-winning Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black.
Deadline first revealed the docu when it was acquired by director/author Laurent Bouzereau as he was coming off the docus Five Came Back and Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind.
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Black’s memoir tells the origin story of himself and his mother Anne, a conservative Mormon woman from the American South – Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. As a child, she contracted polio, which forced her to endure brutal surgeries and leaving her reliant on braces and crutches for the rest of her life, but taught her the strength of a family’s love. When Black came out to his mother at age 21, they began another difficult journey together – one that would require them to overcome fears, misconceptions and divisions of belief, and teach them both enduring lessons about the power and necessity of communication and shared stories.
The framing of the documentary follows Black as he returns to the South, to reconnect with his conservative family in Texas, as well as a return to the heart of the Mormon Church in Utah. The message is the power of open dialogue and storytelling as essential human tools for building bridges, changing hearts and healing the wounds that have torn apart families and communities.
“As a biographer on big screens and small, I believe that sharing our stories holds tremendous power,” said Black, who aside from the award winning Harvey Milk film also scripted the biopic J Edgar, the Clint Eastwood-directed drama that starred Leonardo DiCaprio. “I often say that it is those shared stories that have the power to change hearts, and it is those changed hearts that can shift minds and help heal communities and nations in need. My career thus far has been about sharing others’ brave and improbable tales. Now I feel it’s time to share mine. I’m honored to partner with Laurent, Amblin, Playtone and LD Entertainment to crack open my little family’s big American tale.”
Black previously drew on his Mormon upbringing as a writer/co-producer of the Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman on the HBO drama Big Love. He is currently adapting Jon Krakauer’s acclaimed book Under the Banner of Heaven. He is represented by CAA and attorneys Gretchen Rush and Huy Nguyen at HJTH.
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