The Iran hostage crisis began on November 4th, 1979 when students and militants supporting the Iranian Revolution stormed the American Embassy taking 66 hostages. The situation would last 444 days and have strong reverberations in both American and Iranian politics.
Mark Bowden explains why he wrote “Guests of the Ayatollah” and about the Movie Project:
444 Days – US Embassy under seige Iran 1979
Former Iran Hostages Recall US Embassy Takeover 30 Years Ago – VOA Story
William Horberg (The Quiet American, The Kite Runner) is the executive producer and the initiating force behind the project. Horberg was able to visit Tehran as part of the Academy delegation’s international outreach committee :
“I spent ten days there, screening films and meeting Iranian filmmakers. A couple of weeks after I was back and lunching with ICM agent Ron Bernstein and telling him about the trip, he said the rights to the Bowden book were free and clear. Mark writes these historically significant books that read like page-turners, and this 700-page yarn grips you from the moment those students climb over the gates. It is one of the most important defining political events of the last 40 years, the introduction of radical Islam to most people, and HBO seemed the only place to tackle this kind of epic political subject matter. And it’s still relevant.”
HBO always manages to knock historical dramas out of the park, so this should be something to anticipate.