Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan is set to direct and executive produce White City, AMC’s geopolitical drama pilot focused on Western diplomats and journalists living in Afghanistan. The show focuses on Jon Liston, a war junkie who has spent the better part of the last decade in Kabul with a front-row seat to the carnage. The project comes from co-writers/co-executive producers Nick McDonell, a novelist and journalist who has covered Iraq and Afghanistan for Time, and John Dempsey, former long-time resident of Kabul and senior advisor on Afghanistan to the late US diplomat, Richard C. Holbrooke. Executive producers are Chris Mundy (Low Winter Sun) and former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, a former resident of Afghanistan, currently an advisor to VICE and MOBY Group, an Afghan media corporation. Gaghan revealed his long-time connection to the project while also giving a pretty big compliment to AMC. “Nick and John were actually staying at my house, fresh out of Kabul, when they were going around pitching the show,” he said. “They then went on to write a truly astonishing script. Which got the attention of another old pal, Chris Mundy. It reminds me of Altman’s Mash or a great Hal Ashby script. But really, let’s face it, if Coppola was doing Apocalypse Now today, it would be an AMC series.”