Zach Sobiech story ‘Clouds’ could be headed to Hollywood
By Mary Divine St. Paul Pioneer Press LAKELAND, Minn. - The movie rights to Laura Sobiech's book about her late son Zach have been acquired by Warner Bros. Zach Sobiech is the Lakeland teenager who wrote the hit song "Clouds" as a farewell to fam...
By Mary Divine
St. Paul Pioneer Press
LAKELAND, Minn. - The movie rights to Laura Sobiech’s book about her late son Zach have been acquired by Warner Bros.
Zach Sobiech is the Lakeland teenager who wrote the hit song “Clouds” as a farewell to family and friends before he died in 2013 of osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
Justin Baldoni, the actor and director who produced a documentary about the teen called “My Last Days,” is attached to direct and produce the movie based on the book “Fly a Little Higher,” Laura Sobiech said Tuesday.
She said the movie will be titled “Clouds.”
Baldoni, who stars in the CW television series “Jane the Virgin,” has become a trusted family friend and is the perfect choice, Sobiech said.
“He’s very committed to telling an authentic story in the best way that he can,” she said.
Baldoni’s documentary about Zach, which aired on SoulPancake’s YouTube channel, has been viewed more than 14 million times.
Baldoni and his team “took a chance” last fall and pitched “Clouds” to Warner Bros., Sobiech said.
“They knew that they were shooting high, but it turns out Warner Bros. is interested in doing a line of movies that is more of the inspirational kind of movie,” she said. “They were very interested in the story.”
Dan Seeman, vice president and market manager for KS95/Hubbard Radio in St. Paul, helped launch the “Clouds” phenomenon. He said Tuesday that he is thrilled Zach Sobiech’s story might reach the big screen one day.
“Anyone who had the chance to meet Zach knows how inspiring his story can be,” Seeman said. “I’m so excited that Zach’s incredible story of hope and courage will have the opportunity to reach even more people.”
A YouTube video of the late teen performing “Clouds” has been viewed nearly 12.4 million times, and the song hit No. 1 on the iTunes chart. Money raised from the song has gone to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, which has collected more than $1 million for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
Scott Herold, CEO and founder of Rock the Cause, Sobiech’s record label, said he was not surprised that Hollywood would be interested in Sobiech’s story.
“Zach’s story was always larger than life,” Herold said. “A potential movie could make a tremendous impact on donations to his research fund. I think Zach would think that was wonderfully cool.”
Sobiech, a Stillwater Area High School student, died in May 2013 at age 18 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma 3½ years earlier.
His mother’s memoir, “Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way,” was published in 2014. She said Tuesday that she could not disclose how much she was paid for the movie rights for the book.
When asked who will play her in the movie, Sobiech laughed.
“I can say we have dreamed about it and laughed about it,” she said. “It’s much harder to think about who will play Zach.”