Following his March pact with HBO Films to direct and executive produce the Gypsy Rose Lee biopic Madame Rose, Rock of Ages and Hairspray helmer Adam Shankman has teamed with screenwriter David Kajganich (The Invasion) on a drama series project for HBO, which Kajganich will write and Shankman will direct. Set in the pre-Stonewall New York City of the late 1960s, Open City explores characters from disparate corners of Manhattan as they navigate the cultural revolutions and political turmoil of the era, including the unlikely alliance between the Mafia and the city’s gay community in the opening of a West Village nightclub. Ronnie Lorenzo, one of the original owners of the Stonewall Inn, the epicenter of the 1969 Stonewall riots that sparked America’s gay rights movement, is aboard as a consulting producer.
Kajganich and Shankman will exec produce Open City alongside Shankman’s Offspring Entertainment producing partner Jennifer Gibgot. The brother-sister duo have a cable overall TV deal with Warner Horizon and recently sold projects to Bravo, E! and MTV. Kajganich recently scripted Fox’s James Franco-Jonah Hill starrer True Story, about the relationship between murderer Christian Longo and NYT reporter Michael Finkel, as well as A Bigger Splash for I Am Love helmer Luca Guadagnino. Shankman and Gibgot are repped by UTA and Bloom Hergott. Kajganich is repped by UTA and Madhouse Entertainment.