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Kristen Bell and Jonathan Groff to Star in ‘Molly and the Moon’

Kristen Bell and Jonathan Groff to Star in ‘Molly and the Moon’

Kristen Bell and Jonathan Groff are set to star in the original musical Molly and the Moon by How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, according to Deadline.

Bays and Thomas will direct from a script they pinned with Harvey Mason Jr (Sing and the Pitch Perfect films) serving as an executive music producer, Stephanie Diaz-Matos (The Get Down) as the music supervisor, and Nathan Larson composing.

About writing the script, Thomas told Deadline, “Carter and I were running the show and between Season 2 and Season 3, my wife and I were having our first kid, a boy, Elliot,” he said. “I was heading into parenthood and I figured everything was going according to the life script I imagined for myself. I’m going to have this healthy, perfect kid and come back and keep running that show. Instead, life served up an enormous curveball to us.

“We discovered after he was born that Elliot had Jacobsen Syndrome, a rare genetic deletion where a piece of one of the 11th chromosomes has broken off, resulting in the loss of certain genes that go into making a healthy, typical baby.

“Carter and I were running the show and between Season 2 and Season 3, my wife and I were having our first kid, a boy, Elliot,” Thomas told Deadline. “I was heading into parenthood and I figured everything was going according to the life script I imagined for myself. I’m going to have this healthy, perfect kid and come back and keep running that show. Instead, life served up an enormous curveball to us.

“We discovered after he was born that Elliot had Jacobsen Syndrome, a rare genetic deletion where a piece of one of the 11th chromosomes has broken off, resulting in the loss of certain genes that go into making a healthy, typical baby.

“And what it meant for Elliot is that he had several heart defects and needed open-heart surgery at only two weeks old, and we did not see any of this coming,” Thomas said. “This was after almost a week in the neonatal intensive care unit in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. And all of a sudden, we are living this completely different story line than we had imagined for ourselves, our son going through open heart surgery at 2 weeks old. He weighed only about three and a half pounds, which also was unforeseen. So what ended up happening was, we were in the hospital for six weeks going through two different journeys. One was hoping that our son survived this heart surgery, which had a significant chance of mortality, and also trying to accept that if he lived through this heart surgery, we were going to have a kid who was different, who might have lifelong health and developmental issues. Those two journeys are so intense for anyone to go through. Meanwhile, there’s this other journey that was going on, and Carter, as my best friend, had front-row seats. What Carter heard me saying a lot was, ‘My god, he’s such a brave little boy.’ Because Elliot, this little tiny baby, was going through this epic life or death battle, lying in this plastic box, this small incubator.”

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“He was having a more mythic, epic journey that I had in my three decades of life, all in his first couple of weeks of life,” Thomas said. “Carter found himself wondering too, what is that little life going through in this plastic box? What is Elliot thinking and feeling as he’s lying there? You hear phrases like, ‘Oh the surgery went well but he’s not out of the woods yet,’ and we would wonder, what are the woods like, and how would you show them? Later, that would inspire elements of Molly and the Moon.”

Bays added, “There was the moment where we realized that for everything Craig and Rebecca were going through and for everything that everyone who loved them was going through, Elliot was the protagonist of that moment. It was his journey, and it was a case where we had to just give ourselves up to grace and just be at ringside as this person fights for his life. It was inspiring, seeing the power of the will to live. Elliot wanted to be at the party.”

They will produce with Jared Ian Goldman and Renee Witt and Jamal Daniel via the Levantine Films banner. Tory Metzger is executive producer.

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