Oscar-Nominated AIDS Documentary HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE to Get Miniseries Adaptation on ABC

     February 28, 2013


The Best Documentary Feature category at this year’s Oscars was stacked with some incredible films, and now one of the nominees is getting an adaptation of its own.  ABC Studios has bought the rights to director David France’s powerful documentary How to Survive a Plague with an eye towards adapting it into a miniseries for the network.  The film documents the early years of the AIDS epidemic, following a group of motivated and passionate young men with HIV whose lobbying and protest efforts through the groups ACT UP and TAG directly lead to the production of better and more affordable AIDS treatment drugs.  It’s an inspiring story and most of the documentary is told through intimate archive footage from the movements, making for a highly emotional viewing experience.

Hit the jump for more on how the pic will be turned into a miniseries.

how-to-survive-a-plague-posterPer THR, France has actually had the idea of a TV adaptation of How to Survive a Plague for more than a year.  Following the success of History’s Hatfields & McCoys, a number of networks sparked to the idea of a miniseries adaptation and ABC came away the victor.  Though the project is still in the early stages, France has some ideas on how the miniseries will expand upon the ideas brought up in the film:

“We know we’d like it to be an extended story that’s not just about AIDS and what AIDS wrought, but about this tremendous civil rights movement that grew from the ashes of AIDS and the dawn of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement.”

Producing partner Howard Gertler adds that the miniseries will bring a more personal perspective to the story:

“We’re excited about the opportunity to delve into more of the personal stories of the characters that you followed in the documentary. People got a sense from the doc that many of the activists were soldiers drafted into a war that perhaps they were not ready to fight but that they had trained themselves for and we really want to show a wide audience how that happened.”

I was blown away by How to Survive a Plague and I highly suggest seeking it out if you haven’t already done so (it’s available right now on Netflix Instant).  Watch the trailer for the film below.