SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio philanthropist Gordon Hartman has entered into an agreement with Zero Gravity and SR-48 to tell the story of nonprofit Morgan’s Wonderland, still the world’s first and only theme park designed with those with special needs in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.
The movie also will focus on the Hartman family – Gordon, his wife Maggie, and their 30-year-old daughter with special needs, Morgan, who inspired her parents to build the theme park that has attracted almost 3 million guests from all 50 states and more than 120 other countries since the grand opening in 2010.
In addition, the production will explore the struggles of raising a child with special needs, the emotional pressures such care puts on families, and the specific incident that sparked the Hartmans’ determination to create a place where people of all abilities can come together, play, and enjoy life side- by-side.
“This will be a love story about Morgan, who has dealt with cognitive and physical special needs since birth and who has become a champion of our mission – inclusion,” Gordon Hartman said. “Morgan doesn’t realize what a profoundly positive impact she’s had on helping children and adults with special needs and disabilities, but she truly is a star in her own right.”
Maggie Hartman said the Morgan’s Wonderland movie “not only will tell the story of an incredible place devoid of physical and economic barriers but also will encourage viewers to be kinder, gentler and more understanding in their interactions with others.”
The Hartmans have signed an agreement with SR-48 film and TV producer Sean Robins, whose credits include “All My Life,” “Playing with Fire” and “Tag.”
“As a father, my heart melted reading about the inspirational love Gordon and Maggie had for Morgan and the extraordinary lengths they went through to make this dream a reality,” Robins said. “It’s a story of hope and compassion and community coming together to make the seemingly impossible possible in a time when that message is needed more than ever.”
Also producing the Morgan’s Wonderland movie is Ryan Lewis with Zero Gravity Management.
Credits include “Fat Kid Rules the World,” “5,000 Blankets,” “The Accountant,” and “Ozark.”
“A story like the Hartmans’ and their commitment to making the world a better place feels once-
in-a-lifetime, and in putting it on screen, we’re hoping to spread their message of hope and inclusion to the world while highlighting the love they share that forms the core of it all,” Ryan said.
The screenplay, written by Salvador Paskowitz, known for 2016’s “Age of Adaline,” starring Blake Lively and Harrison Ford, is completed. Salvador, with other life-story projects in the works such as “Alive Inside,” based on the Sundance-winning documentary of the same name, “The Life of Alan Watts,” based on the true-life 60’s celebrity-philosopher and “But I Know I Love You,” based on a story of a woman unable to make memories, with only love to show her way back.
“As a writer – and a student of the hero’s journey – I found in the story of Morgan’s Wonderland the ultimate roots of heroism. A man who builds a castle for his child-princess despite all odds and obstacles, and in doing so, creates a better world for all children.” Paskowitz said. “I am honored to be part of the process of bringing Morgan, Gordon, and Maggie’s story to the world.”
Now that the SAG-AFTRA strike is over, all parties are excited to enter the next phase of making the Morgan’s Wonderland movie.
“The entire team is excited to bring this story, WONKA meets WONDER, to an audience looking for heart, laughter, and love as we continue to build out our package with an exciting director and cast,” Robins said.
Morgan’s Wonderland is a key part of Morgan’s, the nonprofit umbrella organization that coordinates planning, fundraising, marketing, and communications for the Morgan’s Wonderland “family” of Ultra-Accessible™, fully-inclusive endeavors. Related ventures include Morgan’s Inspiration Island splash park, Morgan’s Sports Complex, Morgan’s Camp and Morgan’s MAC (Multi-Assistance Center) which offers coordinated medical and non-medical solutions to problems faced by children and adults with special needs. All of these and other initiatives focus on Morgan’s mission of inclusion. For more information, visit www.Morgans.org.
Ultra-Accessible™ refers to removing both physical and economic barriers that confront children and adults with special needs. This means that those with and without special needs can come together in a fully-inclusive environment for interaction and a better understanding of one another.
For More Information: Leslie Mouton (210) 286-1795 or lmouton@MorgansWonderland.com