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Fortunately, if any one television company can handle complex and emotionally-raw subjects, it’s probably HBO. The subscription service is currently in the process of creating a miniseries about the rise of the Syrian-based terrorist organization making the news, unfortunately, daily–ISIS, Deadline reports. Behind the project are movie star (including fellow war-based work American Sniper) Bradley Cooper and Todd Phillips.
If Phillips’s name seems familiar, then you might have just woken up in Las Vegas without any memories (for the third time). This is the man in the chair for The Hangover, The Hangover II, and The Hangover III. Phillips is also the master behind comedy Starsky and Hutch as well as the more politically-oriented Borat. Therefore this new series about ISIS will not be his first jaunt into the foreign-affairs landscape, but it will likely be his first drama free of humor.
Cooper will take on the role of executive producer for this ISIS show, which will be directly based on a nonfiction book by the name of Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS. The story follows the violent group of radical terrorists from their beginnings scraped together from another infamous organization–Al Qaeda–to their blood-soaked present. It also features a maniacal “godfather,” so called by the New York Times–a defect from Al Qaeda Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, who may become some sort of main antagonist in this new series.
Joby Warrick, the author behind the original work, earned a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year for his ability to capture the complicated expanse of how exactly this group that now has talons in seemingly every facet of the world came to be, and in so brief a time.
It was Cooper that initially read the book and immediately saw it as a visual series, limited. The famous Hollywood actor contacted Warrick and the pair then called up HBO, who quickly green-lit the idea. From there, Cooper recruited Phillips to the project; the two are currently working on a modern-military-centered movie called War Dogs. Phillips will serve as a fellow producer.
No one has yet been cast, but names will likely start floating about soon.