Deadline reports that ABC has just greenlit When We Rise, an eight-part miniseries about the fight for LGBT rights in San Francisco that will reunite Milk director and writer Gus Van Sant and Dustin Lance Black, respectively. The miniseries will chart the “personal and political struggles, setbacks and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBT men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. civil rights movement from its turbulent infancy in the 20th century to its successes today.” Van Sant will direct the first two-hour episode of the miniseries which was written by Black, who will executive produce along with Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook).
The project has been in development at ABC for a couple of years now, but it looks like Van Sant’s participation served as the impetus to finally get the thing rolling. But beyond that, the team behind When We Rise might just have been anxious to make a more accurate and inclusive portrayal of the LGBT rights struggle available following Roland Emmerich’s disappointing Stonewall. The film was a critical (and popular) letdown in its attempt to depict one of the catalysts in the struggle for LGBT rights—the decision to frame the historical events through the perspective of a bland, white guy ended up being problematic, to say the least.