Guy Pearce.

Guy Pearce and Rachel Griffiths will co-star in a limited series written by Milk Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.

When We Rise will tell the story of America's LGBT civil rights movement, previously covered by films such as Milk and last year's Stonewall, directed by Roland Emmerich. 

Perhaps surprisingly, the show has been commissioned not by the likes of HBO or FX but by ABC, which is considered one of the more advanced networks in terms of representativeness.

The series will run for seven episodes, with the first to be directed by Milk director Gus Van Sant, who also exec-produces.

Pearce plays activist Cleve Jones, previously essayed by Emile Hirsch in Milk, while Griffiths will play the wife of women's rights leader Roma Guy, to be played by Weeds' Mary-Louise Parker.

The show is produced by Laurence Mark and Bruce Cohen and created by Black, who recently enjoyed a Twitter spat with Spectre songwriter Sam Smith after the latter mistakenly claimed he was the first openly homosexual winner of an Academy Award.

"It’s been the honor of my life to research and craft these stories of family, diversity and equality over the past three years,” Black told THR

“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.”

Pearce is repped by CAA, Shanahan and Sloane Offer, while Griffiths is with WME, Signpost, Shanahan and Jackoway Tyerman.

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