Netflix, Obamas’ Higher Ground Acquire Michael Keaton 9/11 Drama ‘Worth’

The Barack and Michelle Obama-led shingle Higher Ground has acquired the Michael Keaton film “Worth,” in partnership with their distributor Netflix.

Directed by Sara Colangelo (“The Kindergarten Teacher”), the film is adapted from the Kenneth Feinberg memoir “What Is Life Worth?” and follows the lawyer’s process in awarding the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Netflix will stream the film in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Australia, the UK, France, Turkey and select other countries. The project played in competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, prior to the global spread of coronavirus. It’s set for release this September, marking the 20th anniversary of the attack on New York City.

Feinberg was appointed special master of the compensation fund, tasked by Congress to allocate financial rewards to the victims of the tragedy. The film follows his search to calculate incalculable loss in the face of cynicism, bureaucracy, and the politics of division.

Keaton stars alongside Stanley Tucci, Amy Ryan, Tate Donovan, Talia Balsam, and Laura Benanti. Colangelo directed from a script by Max Borenstein (“Godzilla,” “Godzilla V. Kong”), which was a Black List-selected script in 2008.

The film was co-financed by Ingenious Media, Paradise City Films, West Madison Entertainment and Riverstone Pictures. Producers include MadRiver Pictures’ Marc Butan (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”), Anthony Katagas of Keep Your Head (“12 Years a Slave”), Sugar23’s Michael Sugar, Keaton, Borenstein, Bard Dorros of Anonymous Content (Spotlight, True Detective), and Sean Sorensen for Royal Viking Entertainment.

The Obamas recently announced a robust slate of originals set up at Netflix, including: “Exit West,” a feature film based on Mohsin Hamid’s critically-acclaimed novel starring Riz Ahmed; the feature “Tenzing” based on the true story of Tenzing Norgay, the man who first reached the summit of Everest; and the docu-series “Great National Parks.”

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