Siân Heder’s CODA is up for three Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards, with Heder’s low-key, moving drama about a young woman growing up as the only hearing member of a family of fishermen garnering nods for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (for co-star Troy Kotsur), and for Best Picture outright.
Now Heder’s film might be expanding out to a whole other world of award eligibility: The Tonys, as Vendôme Pictures and Pathé announced today that CODA will now be adapted into a stage musical. Per the press release, the film—itself adapted from the French La Famille Bélier—will be adapted for the stage by LA’s Deaf West Theatre.
The Theatre’s artistic director, DJ Kurs, praised CODA and its depiction of Emilia Jones’ Ruby Rossi, who has to balance her own ambitions in life with her desire to help her family (played by Kotsur, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin).
In a statement today, Kurs wrote,
In the movie there is a scene where the Deaf members of the Rossi family, confronted with an inaccessible school performance, take in Ruby’s song through the joy of others in the audience. This is an opportunity, then, to bring the story full circle by bringing it back to members of the Deaf community and by making the music accessible through our signed and sung live adaptation of the movie. It is in the mission of our organization to be the artistic bridge between the Deaf and hearing communities and we are truly excited and honored to embark on this live iteration of a story that brings together both sides of the aisle and addresses the ways that we move throughout the world.
Certainly, CODA seems ripe for this kind of treatment: It’s deeply emotional and infused with music, full of conflicting desires, and big “Just gotta sing it” feelings. It doesn’t hurt that the film itself has been a consistent crowd-pleaser; it was the big winner at Sundance in 2021, and it’s won a number of awards since, including at the SAG Awards and the Producer and Writers Guild awards this year.