The lives of separated-at-birth triplets Robert Shafran, left, David Kellman...

The lives of separated-at-birth triplets Robert Shafran, left, David Kellman and Edward Galland were chronicled in the 2018 documentary "Three Identical Strangers" by Tim Wardle. Credit: Newsday

Ben Stiller is set to star in “Three Identical Strangers,” a limited series based on the lives of the Long Island triplets who made headlines in the 1980s, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Stiller will reportedly play the three men as adults and produce the series, which is being written by showrunner Amy Lippman for Sony Pictures Television.

The improbable story of the triplets — Edward Galland, David Kellman and Robert Shafran — is well known to Newsday readers. A 1980 article in the paper explained how Shafran, a 19-year-old community college student in upstate New York, kept getting mistaken for another student on campus and finally tracked down his look-alike, Galland, of New Hyde Park. Both adopted and clearly separated at birth, they reveled in their uncanny similarities: both natural jokers, Southern rock fans, smokers, high school wrestlers and early bloomers who lost their virginity at age 12. Against astronomical odds, it seemed, the long-lost twins had found each other.

After other papers began covering their story, the news reached Kellman, of Howard Beach — and the identical twins became identical triplets.

Their heartwarming reunion made national news and briefly turned the brothers into celebrities. As time went on, however, a dark secret about their separation — at what was then Long Island Jewish Hospital (now Long Island Jewish Medical Center) — came to light.

A 2018 documentary, “Three Identical Strangers,” told their story and featured interviews with two of the surviving triplets. Directed by Tim Wardle, the film was a critical hit that won a special jury award at the Sundance Film Festival, got picked up by the cutting-edge studio Neon and eventually made the Oscars shortlist.

A feature-film version was said to be in the works with the blessings of the brothers, but that project evolved into Stiller’s limited series, according to Entertainment Weekly. The documentary is currently available via Hulu and other streaming platforms.

The role would mark one of Stiller's first major acting roles in years. He has been more active as a producer and director, including the Emmy-winning shows “Escape at Dannemora” for Showtime and “Severance” for Apple TV+.

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