When We Rise is a new television miniseries about the battle for LGBTQ rights, an adaption of the Cleve Jones memoir set to air on ABC in February of next year. Guy Pearce stars as a younger versions of Jones, and Mary Louise Parker as women’s rights activist Roma Guy.
Also rounding out the cast are Rachel Griffiths, who plays Guy’s wife, Whoopi Goldberg as Pat Norman (the first openly gay employee of the San Francisco Health Department), and Rosie O’Donnell as Del Martin (co-founder of the first lesbian organization in the country).
Expectations and excitement are high for the series, marking a reunion for writer Dustin Lance Black and director Gus Van Sant, who last collaborated on a little movie called Milk. That flick of course won Black a screenplay Oscar and star Sean Penn a statue for Best Actor. Van Sant will direct the two-hour first episode of When We Rise.
Black was elated that his dream project finally got off the ground:
“It’s been the honor of my life to research and craft these stories of family, diversity and equality over the past three years. To have collaborators of this caliber sign on to help bring these stories to life is a tremendous vote of confidence, and I hope a testament to the relevancy and necessity of our continued march toward justice for all.”
We can’t wait to watch. This is the first major LGBT-oriented event series on television, and this casting makes us optimistic that they’ll get it right.
Check out the powerful preview below: