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How Will Ben Stiller Play ‘Three Identical Strangers’ Brothers in Series Based on Acclaimed Doc?

Stiller, 57, will play the "adult brothers," a source confirmed to IndieWire. One of the triplets died by suicide at 34.

Ben Stiller, "Three Identical Strangers"

Ben Stiller, “Three Identical Strangers”

Film Magic/Neon/Courtesy Everett Collection

Ben Stiller is set to star in “Three Identical Strangers,” a limited series adaptation of the acclaimed documentary film, IndieWire has confirmed. The casting raises several questions.

The 2018 film, which was directed by Tim Wardle and won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Storytelling at the Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of Bobby Shafran, David Kellman, and Eddy Galland — three identical triplets who meet by chance as adults, and the revelation of the undisclosed scientific experiment that separated them by birth. Upon its release, “Three Identical Strangers” received positive reviews, and made the shortlist for the Oscars’ Best Documentary Feature category.

Stiller will star as the “adult brothers,” a source with knowledge of the casting told IndieWire. Galland died by suicide in 1995, when he was 34; Stiller is currently 57, nearly 25 years older than Galland was at time of death. The meat of the documentary focuses on the three brothers’ lives as young men, after they became minor media celebrities following their reunion in their 20s.

The original documentary’s story starts when all three men were young adults in college. It stands to reason that Stiller may only be portraying Shafran and Kellman (and thus not playing Galland) at later stages in their lives, but reps for Stiller and Sony did not respond to IndieWire’s requests for comment on the “adult” distinction.

The limited series adaptation comes from Amy Lippman, best known as the creator of “Party of Five” and her work on “Masters of Sex,” “In Treatment,” and “LA Law.” She will showrun and executive produce the series with Stiller via Red Hour Films. Additional executive producers include Wardle, Sidney Kimmel, John Penotti, Charlie Corwin, Marcy Ross, Piers Vellacott, Dimitri Doganis, and Emmeline Yang Hankins. Sony Pictures Television produces with SK Global and TriStar Television.

Although Stiller hasn’t acted on TV extensively outside of his short-lived but Emmy-winning sketch series “The Ben Stiller Show” in 1993, the actor has been active as a producer and director on television. Most recently, he executive produced Apple TV+’s “Severance” and Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora,” and directed episodes of both, receiving Emmy nominations for his work. Stiller’s most recent acting credits include cameos in “Hubie Halloween” and “Bros,” the 2021 rom-com “Locked Down,” the 2017 film “The Meyerowitz Stories,” and “Zoolander 2” in 2016.

Stiller is repped by UTA, ID, and Gang Tyre. Lippman is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham. News of Stiller’s involvement in the project was first reported by Variety.

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