April 09, 2013 10:56am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Starz Developing Vietnam War Drama From 'Newsroom' Writer Gideon Yago
Starz is turning its lens on the Vietnam War.
The network announced Tuesday that it is teaming with former Newsroom writer Gideon Yago to develop Airborne, a drama set at the dawn of the Vietnam War.
The potential series also hails from executive producer Rob Tapert (Spartacus) and producer Aaron Lam and revolves around a young helicopter crew as they fight for survival, sanity, their souls and each other in a country -- and war -- that are descending into chaos.
Former Peabody award-winning journalist and MTV News/CBS News writer and correspondent Yago will pen the script.
"Even though we are using Vietnam and the early days of air cavalry as a backdrop, our hope is to bring the audience timeless stories about what makes a hero and how a group of young people fight to retain their humanity in the midst of a surreal and terrible conflict,” he said in a statement announcing the news.
Starz will retain all domestic and international multi-platform rights, including television, home entertainment and digital.
Airborne comes as Starz -- which recently broke off into an independently run company -- is looking to boost its original scripted offerings. The network this month will bow David S. Goyer drama Da Vinci's Demons and also has Black Sails and The White Queen on deck. The premium cable network is also teaming with Sky Atlantic to co-produce drama series Fortitude.
The Yago script joins a Starz development roster that also includes a crime drama from The Departed's William Monahan, sci-fi action thriller Incursion from Spartacus' Steven S. DeKnight, a potential Spartacus spinoff; and Turf, a drama about the birth of hip-hop from Patrick Macmanus, among others.
“[Airborne] explores events that continue to be a relevant and engrossing point of conversation today,” Starz managing director Carmi Zlotnik said. “The experiences of these young men and their fight for survival are being brought to life by Gideon Yago and Rob Tapert in a way that has not been done.”
Added Tapert: “We are incredibly excited to be working on a project that holds such continued importance and relevance today. Airborne will capture the human story of war -- a story of love, loss and sacrifice. It will deliver those elements through a lens that is both surreal and stylized, taking the television audience on a journey they have yet to experience in this genre."
Yago is repped by CAA.