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Adam Shankman Sells 1960s Gay Rights Drama to HBO

Following its recent adaptation of Larry Kramer’s AIDS-era play “The Normal Heart” for a TV movie, HBO has announced another period project centered around gay rights.

Adam Shankman (“Rock of Ages,” “Hairspray”) and Dave Kajganich (“A Bigger Splash,” “True Story”) have sold the project “Open City” (working title) to the premium cabler. Set in Lindsay-era New York of the late 1960s, the drama explores characters from disparate corners of Manhattan as they navigate the cultural revolutions and political turmoil of the era — including the unlikely alliance between the mafia and the city’s gay community in the opening of a West Village nightclub.

Both men will executive produce, with Kajganich writing and Shankman directing the project. Jennifer Gibgot will executive produce through hers and Shankman’s Offspring Entertainment. They have enlisted the help of Ronnie Lorenzo, a former mobster and one of the original owners of the Stonewall Inn, the Civil Rights era Greenwich Village tavern where a 1969 police raid resulted in rioting and helped inspire the LGBT movement. Lorenzo will serve as a consulting producer.

This deal comes after Offspring’s recent sale of three other cable projects under their overall with Warner Horizon. Those projects are at E!, Bravo and MTV.

Shankman and Gibgot are represented by UTA and Bloom Hergott. Kajganich is represented by UTA and Madhouse Entertainment.

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