Reese Witherspoon, Fox 2000 Tackling Vietnam Drama 'League of Wives' (Exclusive)

Getty Images; Courtesy of St. Martin’s Press
Reese Witherspoon

Fox 2000 preemptively acquired the rights to the non-fiction book by women's history author Heath Lee.

Fox 2000 and Reese Witherspoon are tackling the story of a little-known but key part of the Vietnam War.

The studio has preemptively acquired The League of Wives, an upcoming non-fiction book by Heath Lee, for Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner to produce an adaptation.

The book, which is to be published by St. Martin’s Press in April 2019, tells of a group of women — wives of military men who would never describe themselves as feminists — that banded together to save their husbands. When their fighter pilot husbands were shot down, captured and imprisoned for years under deplorable conditions during the Vietnam War, the group of well-educated military wives transformed into a league of take-charge lobbyists, human rights activists and even spies determined to do everything in their power to bring their POW and MIA spouses home. By 1973, the group had brought back 115 men.

“At Hello Sunshine, we strive to showcase brave, brilliant female characters, and the women of League of Wives are all of that and more,” Witherspoon, who will produce with Hello Sunshine exec Lauren Levy Neustadter, said Wednesday in a statement. “From the minute I heard about this inspiring true story, I knew it was a perfect fit for us. I’m excited to be partnering with the team at Fox 2000 to bring this special book to life onscreen, and to be giving audiences a glimpse at this meaningful moment in American history.”

Marisa Paiva and Molly Saffron will oversee for Fox 2000.

Lee is a museum curator and writer of women’s history and her book, whose complete title is The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the President, the Pentagon and the Rest of the US Government to Bring Their Husbands Home, is partially based on her museum exhibition on the same subject. She is repped by UTA and Katherine Flynn at Kneerim & Williams