History has enlisted Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson’s Appian Way Productions and RadicalMedia, in association with Lionsgate Television, to produce Grant, a six-part documentary on one of America’s most underappreciated generals and presidents.
The “mega-doc” will examine the life story of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States, through his own perspective and experiences to explore the Civil War and Reconstruction, which attempted to reconcile the North and the South following the abolition of slavery.
As a U.S. Army General and Commanding General during the American Civil War, Grant led the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy with the supervision of Abraham Lincoln, and also led the effort to remove the remnants of Confederate nationalism and slavery during Reconstruction.
The premium television documentary will also document Grant’s struggles during his youth, his time at West Point, his military service in the Mexican War and his failed business ventures prior to the Civil War.
Grant, which is based on author Ron Chernow’s New York Times bestselling biography of the same name,will also shed light on Grant’s world tour following his presidency, in which he hoped Americans would forget the scandals that plagued his term (1869-1877) and negotiated a contract with famed novelist Mark Twain to publish his now famous memoirs.
“Grant is one of the most brilliant, yet flawed figures in U.S. history and Chernow’s extraordinary biography has transformed our understanding of him at the deepest level,” said Eli Lehrer, EVP of programming for History, in a statement. “This documentary will look at the Civil War and Reconstruction through the intriguing lens of Grant and we look forward to bringing Chernow’s fascinating portrait of this president to life.”
Additionally, Appian Way and Lionsgate will produce a feature-length film also based on Chernow’s book. Lionsgate will distribute the title under its Summit Entertainment label.
Chernow will serve as an executive producer alongside Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson, the latter two of whom are also producers on the Lionsgate feature.
RadicalMedia’s Dave Sirulnick, Justin Wilkes and Fisher Stevens are also listed as exec producers alongside History’s Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue and Jennifer Wagman. Brian Volk-Weiss also serves as exec producer.
“We’re thrilled to be working with History and the amazing teams at Appian and RadicalMedia in offering viewers Chernow’s account of President Grant via a captivating premium television documentary,” added Jennifer O’Connell, Lionsgate’s EVP of alternative programming. “Our alternative television team is also proud to be working closely with our motion picture group in complementing this high-end property by bringing Grant’s story to life through film, underscoring our collaborative cross-divisional efforts.”
The project marks the second collaboration between History and DiCaprio’s Appian Way, who had previously partnered on the acclaimed docudrama The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen. That project, which was produced alongside Stephen David Entertainment, reached 26 million viewers on a Live+7 basis for History.