'Milk' director joins Dustin Lance Black for LGBT mini-series

Director Gus Van Sant is on board to direct a new ABC series about the gay rights movement, which will be written by Dustin Lance Black. The pair previously worked together on the Harvey Milk biopic Milk in 2008, for which Black won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The new mini-series, When We Rise, will air in the 2016-2017 season, and is based in part on the forthcoming memoir from LGBT and AIDS activist Cleve Jones; well known for starting the AIDS Memorial Quilt, a 54 tonne piece of folk art honouring those who had lost their lives to the illness. Titled When We Rise: Coming of Age in San Francisco, AIDS, and My Life in the Movement, Jones' highly-anticipated book will be released on 31 May 2016. It was announced late last year that Dustin Lance Black would be adapting the book for an "epic mini-series" which Variety magazine says will chronicle "the personal and political struggles, set-backs and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBT men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement from its turbulent infancy in the 20th century to the once unfathomable successes of today. The period piece tells the history of the gay rights movement, starting with the Stonewall Riots in 1969." With Van Sant also on board, the LGBT community are certain to trust the project is in safe hands, particularly following the upset surrounding Roland Emmerich's 2015 film Stonewall, which divided those who had been involved in the gay rights struggle. More stories: 5SOS’s Ashton calls out photoshopping of naked Rolling Stone shoot Interview | Hollyoaks’ Parry Glasspool talks streamy love scenes, gay fans and age gaps