American network AMC has greenlit a television adaptation of George Clooney‘s 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck. The project has been brought to the network by Smokehouse Pictures, which is run by the co-writers of the original film, Clooney and Grant Heslov. A writers’ room has been opened under the AMC script-to-series model.
The film starred David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow, and revolved around his conflict with the U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy during the communist witchhunts of the 1950s, commonly known as the Red Scare, and McCarthy’s attempts to fan the flames of anticommunism in America.
Clooney also appeared in the film as Fred Friendly, Murrow’s television producer. Shot in black and white, the film was a critical success while also making over seven times its budget back, grossing $54 million on a $7 million budget. It went on to receive six nominations at that year’s Academy Awards.
Jonathan Glatzer has signed on as showrunner and executive producer for the series adaptation. Heslov is currently slated to direct the opening episode. The series’ official logline is as follows:
“The series follows Sy Steingartner, a young cameraman for Edward R. Murrow’s ‘See It Now,’ who is forced to juggle his admiration for Murrow with his own ambition. With the CBS brass pushing an anti-Communist Loyalty Oath on Murrow and his staff, Sy has an opportunity to rise straight to the top, but only by betraying his mentor in the process.
With wit and keen observation, the series confronts how we respond to chaos and the values that pull us through.”
Glatzer said in a statement: “As a massive fan of the movie, I didn’t want to copy it, or just do a facsimile of it. So, we’ve expanded the world to show how the division and hysteria of the times seeped into every aspect of daily life. I suppose it’s more of an origin story of where we are today.”
Good Night, and Good Luck is a bit forgotten at this point, culturally, but it’s well worth revisiting for the points Glatzer made. The series makes total sense for AMC too, as the film is set in the past and has a classical, clean aesthetic – reminiscent of one of the network’s biggest hits, Mad Men.
Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, added: “AMC is known for intriguing, deep-rooted characters that leap off the screen and into the cultural zeitgeist. Sy Steingartner fits right in with AMC’s icons, and we are excited to develop the character and series.”
The project has only just entered development, so it will be a while until we get to see it. But AMC’s track record with this kind of show should have audiences intrigued.