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ABC options Oscar-nominated documentary “How to Survive a Plague” to adapt into miniseries

ABC has obtained the rights to the Oscar nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague with plans to turn it into a miniseries.

This is the most wonderful news.

The more people who learn about the absolutely, mind-bogglingly heroic work of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and Treatment Action Group (TAG) during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the US, the better.

I thought I knew a lot about the history of the fight against AIDS in the 80s and 90s until I saw this film at Outfest last summer. It was just about the best history lesson I’ve ever had. The story is told with real footage, interviews with key folks involved – some no longer living – and it tells the story of these people who rose to the occasion and would not take no for an answer.

They literally saved millions of lives and I don’t think people really know that.

So the miniseries will reach so many more people than even the film.

It will be in good hands since the film’s director, David France, will be adapting it for the small screen.

‘People got a sense from the doc that many of the activists were soldiers drafted into a war that perhaps they were not ready to fight but that they had trained themselves for, and we really want to show a wide audience how that happened,’ co-producer Howard Gertler tells The Hollywood Reporter.

The film gives viewers a front-row seat to the epic day-to-day battles that ultimately resulted in AIDS no longer being a death sentence. ACT UP and TAG members elevated themselves at the height of the AIDS crisis in the US in the 1980s with their own self-education which enabled them to demand a seat at the table with scientists, researchers and regulators.

The scripted adaptation of the film would delve deeper into the personal lives of the activists.

‘We know we’d like it to be an extended story that’s not just about AIDS and what AIDS wrought but about this tremendous civil rights movement that grew from the ashes of AIDS and the dawn of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement,’ France says.

FILE UNDER: Television


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3 Remarks

  1. Fantastic! Hope they pick it up.

  2. Disappointed that Plague didn’t win the Oscar, still it is a brilliant film and an important and ongoing movement in this nation’s history. And it honors the grassroots pioneers in the LGBT community still living and the many who have passed on. Congrats to ABC!

  3. Wow, this is like the real life Philadelphia. Really interested in seeing this.

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