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MGM has optioned the rights to “We’re the Only Plane in the Sky,” a unique oral history from Politico magazine of a rarely told event that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
No producer or writer is attached at this stage for the adaptation of the article, written by Garrett M. Graff.
The story focuses on how President George W. Bush, after learning of the terrorist attacks while in a Florida classroom, was whisked away onboard Air Force One. He, his aides, and a few others, spent the next eight hours in the only plane flying in the air, desperately trying to connect with the events down on the ground while having very little information and trying to make decisions that could save or imperil the country.
While not occurring that long ago, the event still took place before the age of the primacy of smartphones and instant communications. Bush and his team were caught between competing interests, with the Secret Service telling him he could not land for fear of an attack, while on the other side aides were pressing him to face the nation in a very dark hour. In the background, a step up in war readiness to Defcon 3 had Russian President Vladimir Putin calling, but he was unable to get through because secure communications could not be established.
MGM’s pickup continues its push into original content, a separate track from its remakes and reboots, such as Ben-Hur and The Magnificent Seven. The company hit it out of the park with Me Before You, the weepie starring Emilia Clarke and grossed over $200 million worldwide.
Graff is the founder of Mediabistro’s Fishbowl D.C. and was co-founder of Echoditto, a Washington, D.C.-based internet strategy consulting firm. He was the first blogger ever admitted to cover a White House press briefing in 2005 and is the author of several books.
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