Michael Mann Plans New Vietnam War Miniseries

michael mann

by James White |
Published on

Alongside his film career, Michael Mann has quite the connection with TV, having started working on shows in the 1970s. These days, he's largely backing series as a producer, though he's taken particular interest in adapting a new book by Black Hawk Down writer Mark Bowden that offers a look at a pivotal conflict during the Vietnam War.

Mann and producer Michael De Luca have bought the rights to Bowden's latest tome, Hue 1968 and are planning to turn it into a miniseries. Bowden toiled for five years researching and writing Hue, which is due in shops this June. It chronicles the titular city and the Tet Offensive, a surprise attack by the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong aimed at winning the war in one stroke. Blending military action with an attempt to spark an uprising, it overran the city except for two small military outposts.

The series, like the book, will tell the true-life story from the viewpoint of a variety of characters, some who were on the ground in the city and others whose names are forever linked with the war, including President Lyndon Johnson.

According to Deadline, Mann – who will direct several episodes – is aiming to channel what the book has reportedly achieved, crossing the line between "them and "us": "We are them. There are no background people; people abstracted into statistics, body counts. There is the sense that everybody is somebody, as each is in the reality of his or her own life. The brilliance of Bowden’s narrative, the achievement of interviewing hundreds of people on all sides and making their human stories his foundation, is why Hue 1968 rises to the emotional power and universality of For Whom The Bell Tolls and All Quiet On The Western Front."

De Luca and Mann will start to shop the series around when they've developed it further, but you've got to imagine that several channels would be interested given the people involved.

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