Guy Pearce and Mary-Louise Parker to Star in Dustin Lance Black and Gus Van Sant’s Gay Rights Series


Dustin Lance Black has, for the past few weeks, been best known as the Oscar-winning writer responsible for putting fellow Oscar-winner Sam Smith on blast for not knowing his gay Oscar history. But he didn’t win that Oscar for nothing: Black has written When We Rise, a miniseries focusing on the gay rights movement, and it’s being produced over at ABC. It’s also been announced that Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, and Rachel Griffiths will star.

According to Variety, the show will begin with the Stonewall riots of 1969, but there’s no telling as to how much time it will actually cover. Pearce will star as Cleve Jones, the lifelong LGBT activist who was played by Emile Hirsch in Milk. Parker will star as Roma Guy, a prominent figure in the early fight for LGBT rights but also later worked as a Public Health Commissioner in San Francisco to help broaden the reach of healthcare. Lastly, Griffiths will play Diane Guy, who, along with her wife Roma, co-founded the Women’s Building.

Variety also reports that “young” versions of these characters have been cast, but it’s yet to be confirmed whether or not the show will take place in both the past and near-present, or what. No word on the total number of episodes in the series or when it might air, but Gus Van Sant, who is co-producing with Black, is set to direct the first two episodes.