Stephen Gaghan, Academy Award winning writer (for 'Traffic') and acclaimed feature film director ('Syriana'), is bringing a Vietnam War limited series to FX. An adaptation of "They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967" by Pulitzer Prize winner David Maraniss, Gaghan's project explores the Vietnam conflict both overseas and at home. Eric Simonson, a documentary filmmaker and playwright, is writing 'They Marched into Sunlight' for series.
The project 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.
'They Marched into Sunlight' was originally conceived as a feature film but now Gaghan has moved the project to television. Several real people from history will appear in the series, including Terry de la Mesa Allen, Jr., commander of 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, U.S. First Infantry Division, and Don Holleder, an American College Football star who was killed in the Vietnam War.
FX is making a push towards limited event series, having recently greenlighted an adaptation of the award-winning 1996 feature film 'Fargo' in such a format. 'They Marched into Sunlight' will be developed the same way: geared towards a short run of 4-6 episodes, telling one cohesive story. This is the latest of several high-profile projects in the works at the network, including Sam Mendes' 'Grand Hotel' and Alexander Payne and Michael De Luca's 'Sutton.'