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Tony-Winning Director Michael Grandage to Helm Film Adaptation of Jack and Lem

The book by David Pitts traces the life-long friendship between John F. Kennedy and Lem Billings.

Michael Grandage will direct the feature film adaptation of Jack and Lem, based on the book by David Pitts.
(© David Gordon)

Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage (Frozen, Red) will helm the feature film Jack and Lem, based on David Pitts's book Jack and Lem: The Untold Story of an Extraordinary Friendship. Adapted for the screen by David Scearce (A Single Man), the film will explore the incredible thirty-year friendship between John F. Kennedy and Kirk Lemoyne Billings (aka "Lem").

Jack and Lem is described as follows: "Despite growing up on opposite sides of the tracks, Kennedy and Billings met at prep school and remained best friends until the Dallas gunfire that ended Kennedy's life. Remarkably, Lem was a gay man at a time when homosexuality was illegal. Kennedy maintained their close bond despite warnings that it would derail his political career. Lem became a fixture in the Kennedy White House (he even had his own bedroom), and was the moral compass for the President during one of the most tumultuous times in American History."

Jack and Lem will be Grandage's second feature film, following the 2016 film Genius, which starred Colin Firth, Jude Law, and Nicole Kidman. He most recently directed the stage adaptation of Disney's Frozen on Broadway, and re-staged his Tony Award-winning production of John Logan's Red in the West End starring Alfred Molina and Alfred Enoch, which runs through Saturday, July 28 at the Wyndham's Theatre. Grandage also helms the West End production of Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore, starring Aidan Turner, which began performances on June 23 at the Noël Coward Theatre. The production runs in a strictly limited engagement through Saturday, September 8.

Grandage will produce the film under his production company MGC, alongside producers Andrew Zoppa and Alex Zoppa.

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