EXCLUSIVE: FX has put in development They Marched Into Sunlight, a six-part limited series executive produced by Oscar winner Stephen Gaghan. The project, produced by Fox 21 and FX Prods, is based on the bestseller by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist David Maraniss. Oscar-winning documentarian and playwright Eric Simonson (A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin) is writing the series. Maraniss and Simonson are executive producing alongside Gaghan and Suzanne Joskow, who are executive producing through Gaghan’s company, Unsupervised, under his pod deal with Fox 21. They Marched Into Sunlight explores the Vietnam War both on the battlefield and at home. It centers on two simultaneous events in October 1967 — the violent ambush of the Black Lion army battalion in the jungles of Vietnam, and a student protest against Dow Chemical, the makers of napalm, on the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin — both of which marked a dramatic turning point for the war and the beginning of an American conversation that is ongoing today. In addition to the FX series, Maraniss’ book also was the basis for PBS’ American Experience 2005 documentary Two Days In October.
They Marched Into Sunlight is part of FX’s major push into event series. The cable network just greenlighted its first limited series, an adaptation of Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 feature Fargo. Additionally, FX last week announced several other high-profile limited/miniseries projects in development as the genre is poised to become a cornerstone for FX’s sibling FXM (Fox Movie Channel): Grand Hotel from Sam Mendes, about a fictional terrorist plot in Paris; Sutton, from Alexander Payne and Michael De Luca, about the infamous bank robber; Mad Dogs, from The Shield‘s Shawn Ryan, based on the British black comedy/psychological thriller miniseries; and Mayflower, from producers Paul Giamatti and Gil Netter (Life Of Pi). Gaghan is with CAA.