Do you remember Batkid? He won our hearts in the fall of 2013 when the Make-a-Wish Foundation granted the five-year-old leukemia survivor his dream of being a costumed crusader for a day. San Francisco became Gotham City, and Miles Scott became “Batkid” while thousands of people, including the mayor and President Obama, helped him to become a hero through staged crime scenarios involving the Penguin and the Riddler and a ceremony where he received the key to the city. Now there’s a crowdfunded documentary about him and his special day called Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World, and it’s premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival this weekend.
On top of that, the production company Submarine has just announced that the documentary will be remade by none other than Julia Roberts. She will produce and star in the dramatic version – not playing the title character, of course (although that’d be sure to get her an Oscar nomination if she pulled it off somehow). Dana Nachman, director of the documentary, will get an executive producer credit on the redo, which will be part of a new banner strictly set up for remakes called Sub/Version. Meanwhile, the doc, which was co-written and produced by Dear Zachary director Kurt Kuenne and features Hans Zimmer and , remains without a distribution deal.
This isn’t a rarity for Sundance, where occasionally docs sell remake rights before or even instead of being picked up themselves. But it is rare, so far, that such remakes follow through with any reasonable timing (see my list of at least 20 promised remakes of docs that still haven’t happened yet). I’m honestly a little surprised that this particular doc received such a deal because it would seem Kidman and company could just go around Nachman and get the rights to Scott separately. Unless the doc had contracted all rights to the young boy’s life story.
Hopefully I’ll be seeing Batkid Begins this weekend and will have a review later up on Nonfics. Until then, check out a trailer for the doc below and visit the film’s website for more info.