AMBLIN TELEVISION ACQUIRES RIGHTS TO THE WASHINGTON POST’S “AFGHANISTAN PAPERS” REPORT AND PARTNERS WITH OSCAR-WINNER ALEX GIBNEY
Amblin and Jigsaw will develop a limited documentary series and limited scripted series simultaneously.
LOS ANGELES (January 30, 2020) – Amblin Television announced today that it has closed a deal with The Washington Post for the rights to "At War with the Truth"—The Post’s definitive report on The Afghanistan Papers. Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney will be executive producer with Jigsaw Productions’ Stacey Offman and Richard Perello, along with Amblin Television’s Co-Presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. The companies will work together to develop the project as both an explosive limited documentary series and limited scripted series.
The six-part report was the result of a three-year investigation and a battle between the news organization and the U.S. government to have the documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. It tells the secret history of the war in Afghanistan, exposing behind-the-scenes frustrations, concerns, and blunt acknowledgements of failures from military and government insiders (both Democrat and Republican) who were publicly proclaiming confidence and progress.
As part of the deal, Amblin and Jigsaw will work in close association with The Washington Post and have access to files, recordings, research and materials obtained as part of their investigation; and work with investigative journalist Craig Whitlock, who uncovered the story.
Said Amblin’s Frank and Falvey, “The opportunity to definitively tell this extraordinary and important story is an exciting one. Thanks to the efforts of Craig Whitlock and all the journalists at The Washington Post, the public finally learned the truth about what has been going on behind closed doors in Washington as it relates to the war in Afghanistan—which has spanned almost two decades, three administrations and cost trillions of taxpayer dollars. Alex, Stacy and the team at Jigsaw are the very best at what they do, and we can imagine no better partner to work with in bringing this story to television audiences.”
Alex Gibney said, “This is a vital story at a critical moment. For once we will hear an honest, intimate account from insiders of the epic tale of the forever war: politicians regale us with victory speeches while day by day, casualties mount and the battle for hearts and minds are lost. Why? Because no one bothered to wonder why we are there.”
Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, said, “When Post reporter Craig Whitlock became aware that senior U.S. officials had given confidential interviews about the war in Afghanistan, we knew it was imperative to examine them. When the government sought to maintain secrecy, The Post felt it had to challenge a policy of concealment. The public had a right to a full accounting of why this war has been the nation’s longest, with such a heavy cost in lives, injuries and money. Central to journalism’s role in a democracy is holding government accountable and giving citizens the information they need and deserve to know. In documenting how the public was misled about the war, we believe this work was faithful to that mission.”
Amblin, Jigsaw and Gibney most recently worked together on the documentary series Why We Hate, which aired on Discovery last year and won the Human Rights Watch Los Angeles Promise Award. Two-part music documentary Laurel Canyon, another joint production, will air on Epix on May 31st and June 7th.
While development is ongoing, discussions with potential distributors are currently underway.
About Amblin Television
Amblin Television, a long-time leader in quality programming, is a division of Amblin Partners, a content creation company led by Steven Spielberg. Amblin Television’s co-presidents, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, oversee all development, production and programming for the company. Amblin Television currently has thirteen projects in various stages of production including Tommy for CBS, a second season of Roswell, New Mexico for The CW, The Haunting of Bly Manor—the follow-up chapter to The Haunting of Hill House—for Netflix, Halo for Showtime, a straight-to-series order for Brave New World from Peacock, Amazing Stories and Masters of the Air for Apple, an untitled Cortés and Moctezuma project for Amazon, Gremlins Secrets of the Mogwai for HBO Max, Animaniacs for Hulu, Resident Alien for SYFY, and the documentary films Laurel Canyon for Epix, and Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind for HBO, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival this month.
Some of Amblin Television’s previous credits include the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning drama The Americans for FX, Emmy-nominated HBO movie All The Way starring Bryan Cranston, Smash for NBC, Under the Dome for CBS, Falling Skies for TNT, The Borgias and The United States of Tara for Showtime, and Las Vegas for NBC.
About Jigsaw Productions
Jigsaw Productions is helmed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney alongside Stacey Offman and Richard Perello. Gibney is considered one of the most prolific and thought-provoking documentary filmmakers of our generation. Jigsaw has produced some of the most acclaimed documentary films including Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, Oscar-nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Zero Days, Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes, Emmy nominated The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley and Alex Gibney’s latest feature, Citizen K, which held its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 2019. Jigsaw's slate of highly visible TV series includes Dirty Money, a six-part investigative series on Netflix that delves into corporate corruption and scandal, the highly acclaimed Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat for Netflix, based on Samin Nosrat’s book, The Clinton Affair on A&E, Enemies: The President, Justice & the FBI on Showtime, Why We Hate on Discovery, Hip Hop: Songs That Shook America on AMC and The Family on Netflix. Whether the company is creating a documentary or narrative film, a scripted or unscripted series, Jigsaw adheres to a particular ethos: well-told, insightful, scrupulously researched, and visually poignant stories, which ignite and engage our curiosity. Reaching audiences on screens small or large, on platforms digital or traditional, Jigsaw aims to achieve critical and commercial success without sacrificing style or authenticity.
About The Washington Post
The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform, and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. It combines world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere.