EXCLUSIVE: Robert Schenkkan, the Pulitzer-winning playwright who penned the LBJ play and movie All The Way and who co-wrote the screenplay for Mel Gibson’s upcoming Hacksaw Ridge, has a new hot-button project. He has been tapped to write Amazon Studios’ K Troop. This is the pic that will chronicle the rise of the KKK in the American South in 1860s and the man who led the U.S. Army’s elite K Troop that brutally fought the group in 1871.
The project is based on a Slate article by Matthew Pearl, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is developing the project and producing through his hitRECord Films banner. He is also eyeing it a s star vehicle.
Schenkkan was nominated for an Emmy for adapting his Tony-winning All The Way into an HBO movie about President Lyndon B. Johnson’s turbulent first year in office after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Bryan Cranston starred in both the play and the pic; he won the Tony and was nominated for the Emmy.
Hacksaw Ridge, the true story about a World War II conscientious-objector Desmond Doss that Schenkkan wrote with Andrew Knight almost 10 years ago, is in the awards hunt this fall and will be released November 4 via Lionsgate. His film credits also include HBO’s miniseries The Pacific which won him the WGA Award and two Emmy noms.
Schenkkan also is writing a historical feature for director Robert Redford about the Manhattan Project, based loosely on Jennet Conant’s bestseller 109 East Palace. He is repped by WME.