SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – New Line Cinema has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to “Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World,” as well as the rights to adapt it into a narrative film.
The news was first reported by Variety, and the narrative film has Oscar winner Julia Roberts lined up to star and produce.READ MORE: 18-Year-Old Man Shot Dead, Another Wounded Saturday in Bay Point
Roberts will produce the adaptation with partners Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill through their Red Om Films banner, with the film being overseen by Michael Disco and Josh Mack at New Line.
Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute the documentary with plans to release it in the coming year.
New Line Executive Vice President Carolyn Blackwood tells Variety she first saw the documentary when it premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival.READ MORE: Coast Guard: Cargo Ship Dragging Anchor Likely Caused SoCal Oil Spill
“It shows that humanity is essentially good and not bad. In this day and age, there’s so much negativity on social media and there’s so much cynicism in the way we communicate, but this was a cause of using social media for good. That was what caused this modest wish to become a phenomenon,” she said.
The documentary follows the journey of young Miles Scott, who was granted his Make-A-Wish Foundation request to be Batkid for a day. He was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia at 18 months old.
The story quickly gained traction on social media and on November 15, 2013, San Francisco was turned into a fictional Gotham City for the day. Young Miles took part in several crime scenarios, saving the city from villains like The Riddler and The Penguin. The streets of San Francisco were packed, with people following Miles from adventure to adventure. President Obama even tuned in, sending his own message to Miles via social media.
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Along with its debut at Slamdance, the documentary also kicked off the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose this year.