As Deadline reports, filmmaker, TV artistic guru, and all-around creative mensch Michael Mann has acquired the rights to Hue 1968, Mark Bowden’s soon-to-be-published non-fiction book about the Tet Offensive, the campaign of surprise attacks by the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army that marked unexpected turning point both in the Vietnam War and its public perception in the United States. Mann and producer Michael De Luca are developing the book into a miniseries, with Mann planning to direct at least some of the episodes. Bowden is best known for his book Black Hawk Down, the basis for the film of the same name by Ridley Scott.
It should be noted that, while Mann’s work on the big and small screen is closely associated with the crime and thriller genres, his portfolio of sadly unrealized projects includes a large number of historical war movies, including Gates Of Fire, an epic script about the Battle Of Thermopylae that was developed and abandoned before Zack Snyder’s more fanciful 300; a biographical drama about war photographers Robert Capa and Gerda Taro; and Agincourt, his long-in-the-works (and still in development) passion project about the most famous battle of the the Hundred Years’ War.
The closest the terse master of moody procedural detail has gotten to depicting warfare on a large scale was in The Last Of The Mohicans, which is set during the French And Indian War. Hopefully, this latest attempt will break the curse that seems to have been cast on his big war projects for decades. As the man says, time is luck.