Good night and good luckthe 2005 historical drama film directed by and starring George Clooney, is being adapted into a television series. AMC Networks is developing the show and has opened a writers room as part of its in-series scripting model, according to Deadline.
Jonathan Glatzer, who worked as a scribe and producer on TV shows like AMC You better call Saul and HBO Successionwill lead the writers room and serve as showrunner on the upcoming project.
Good night and good luck is one of three projects in AMC Networks’ latest serial script group. The network has also opened writers’ rooms for seconds, a radical reimagining of the cult classic with a female lead at its center. AMC also opened a room for the psychological horror story The Silver Devilwhich is envisioned as the first installment of a possible anthology franchise.
The company’s model opens writers’ rooms to develop forward-looking shows, including the generation of multiple scripts, for direct series consideration. The two projects AMC ordered writers rooms for last year, Invitation to a bonfire and Unmasksthe two went to series.
The black and white film version of Good night and good luck chronicled the story of the battle between CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow, portrayed by David Strathairn in an Oscar-nominated role, and U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy over the latter’s anti-Communist actions. Besides Clooney and Strathairn, the film also starred Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella, Tate Donovan, and Ray Wise.
The TV adaptation, which could air on AMC or its sister streamer AMC+, will be an origin story of the conflict centered on the journalists and women who worked alongside Murrow amid fear and hysteria after The world war. It will follow Sy Steinartner, a young cameraman from Murrow’s See now, forced to juggle between his admiration for the journalist and his own ambition.
With CBS’s top brass pushing an anti-Communist loyalty oath on Murrow and his team, Sy has the opportunity to rise straight to the top, but only by betraying his mentor in the process. With wit and keen observation, the show confronts how people react to chaos and the values that pull them through.
The show, which will have six episodes if it goes to series, will be produced by AMC Studios with Clooney and its Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov, who brought the project to the basic cable network for development. Participant and 2929 Productions are also producers of the show. The project will be produced in-house by AMC Studios.
Smokehouse Pictures, Participant and 2929 Productions also produced the film. Clooney and Heslov wrote the film together.
Produced on a budget of $7 million, the film version of Good night and good luck grossed nearly $55 million at the worldwide box office. Along with Best Actor, the film was nominated for five other Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.
Glatzer will executive produce the series with Clooney, Heslov and Mark Cuban, Todd Wagner and Haley Jones for 2929 Productions and Jeff Skoll and Miura Kite for Participant. Rebecca Arzoian is co-executive producer for Smokehouse Pictures. Heslov will direct the first episode of the TV series.
“As a huge fan of the film, I didn’t want to copy it or just make a facsimile of it. So we expanded the world to show how the division and hysteria of the time seeped into every aspect of everyday life,” Glatzer said. “I guess it’s more of an origin story of where we are today.”
“AMC is known for its intriguing and deeply rooted characters who step off the screen and into the cultural zeitgeist. series,” added Dan McDermott, President of AMC Entertainment and Studios for AMC Networks. “We are huge fans of Jonathan’s expert storytelling skills, George and Grant’s production prowess, Grant’s directorial talents, and vigorous talents of Mark, Todd and Jeff, and we are delighted to work with all of them in this new endeavor.”
“We are extremely proud of the Oscar nominee Good night and good luck film, and its themes remain terribly relevant today, as new threats to democracy arise and trust in the press continues to erode,” said David Linde, CEO of Participant. “We are proud to work with AMC, Smokehouse and 2929 to expand the world of film in this exciting new series.”
“Good night and good luck and the pressures facing the men and women of Murrow’s newsroom are more relevant than ever,” said Wagner, CEO of 2929 Entertainment. “We are thrilled to reunite with our partners George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Participant to bring Jonathan Glatzer’s vision of Murrow to new audiences. AMC’s long history of character-driven storytelling makes it the perfect collaboration for the new series adaptation.
The TV adaptation comes as AMC is at a turning point after the conclusion of its breaking Bad prequel series, You better call Saul, and his Emmy-winning show, Kill Eve. The cable network is also wrapping the flagship series in its Walking Dead franchise, with several other new spinoffs also in the works.