The UK’s smash-hit NHS Choir is set to star in a Hollywood movie charting the incredible story of the Lewisham and Greenwich hospital staff who took time out from their vital day jobs to outsell Justin Bieber, raising money for charity and celebrating the work of the NHS.
Hollywood rights to the choir’s story have been bought by top LA film producer Julia Verdin whose credits include The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino and 2 Jacks starring Sienna Miller.
The movie will feature individual back stories of the 32 choir members and their work. It will tell of the individual and collective pride in the NHS which drove them to record ‘A Bridge Over You’ and create a wave of national pride in the NHS taking the coveted Christmas Number One spot in 2015.
All proceeds from the huge selling single were shared between healthcare charities, including Carers UK and the mental health charity Mind.
In one of the most dramatic twists in recording history, the Christmas single by the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir was lagging just behind Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ when on 23 December the superstar singer tweeted his 80 million followers imploring them to “do the right thing” and buy the choir’s track to ensure they won.
On Christmas Day morning it was announced by the Official Charts Company that the choir had won the David and Goliath contest. As well as pipping Bieber, the choir also saw off the challenge of Adele, One Direction and Mariah Carey to secure Number One slot.
Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE, founder of London’s largest independent talent management agency ROAR Global which now manages the choir and who landed the movie deal, said: “This choir, made up of a typical group of the wonderful people who work in our NHS, have tapped into what is too often the unspoken pride felt by millions in the work of one of the nation’s most cherished institutions. The coming together of their story and that of the incredible work of NHS truly is the stuff of movies and I am thrilled that Julia Verdin is on board to create a film which will resonate globally.”
Julia Verdin, who is President of Rough Diamond Productions, said: “I believe people will love watching this remarkable and uplifting story which has already touched the hearts of millions in the UK.”
Choir co-ordinator and children’s physiotherapist Caroline Smith said: “We are thrilled that the world will now get to see our incredible story. People will see the massive power achieved when everyone comes together”.
The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir is made up of more than 30 full time staff including children’s doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, midwives and the hospital chaplain.
As well as the movie deal, the choir will release its debut album on ‘Something Inside So Strong’ June 3. Proceeds will go to the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust charitable funds to help provide funding for goods, services and research which fall outside core NHS responsibility and which benefit patients and staff.