Kevin Costner & Morgan Freeman Team To Produce Civil War Spy Series ‘The Gray House’ For Paramount
EXCLUSIVE: We can tell you first that Kevin Costner’s Territory Pictures will team with Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary and their Revelations Entertainment to produce the Civil War spy drama The Gray House, a six-hour limited series for Paramount Global.
Both actors’ production shingles are partnering with Big Dreams Entertainment’s founder Leslie Greif, to tell the story of the three women General Ulysses S. Grant credited as helping the North win the Civil War. Costner is revisiting the Civil War era with his New Line ensemble western Horizon which he is currently shooting. Costner’s 7x Oscar winning movie, Dances With Wolves, was set during the Civil War frame, that pic earning the multihyphenate Best Picture and Best Director trophies.
Much like the women in the 2017 film Hidden Figures, in which Costner co-starred, The Gray House focuses on the unsung women who turned the tide of the American Civil War in favor of the North. A Richmond Socialite and her daughter, a formerly enslaved African-American, and a courtesan build the first successful female spy ring, operating right under the noses of the Confederate High Command. They risk life and liberty to help win the war and preserve American Democracy.
The Gray House is based on an original script by Greif and Darrell Fetty (The Offer, Texas Rising) and Oscar-nominated John Sayles (Lonestar, 8 Men Out). Oscar-nominated Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields, The Mission, Texas Rising) is set to direct the series which will shoot in the spring.
Costner will serve as EP, with Rod Lake and Howard Kaplan producing for Territory Pictures. Alex Kerr produces for Big Dreams Entertainment. The limited series will be distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.
Said Costner, “The Gray House is an untold true story of three amazingly brave abolitionist heroes of the Civil War, who just happened to be women. Having a passion for history, it’s always personally fulfilling to share richly layered stories about America’s unsung heroes. I’m delighted to join forces with my friends Leslie Greif and Morgan Freeman with whom I’ve had great success to produce this important, epic saga.”
“I’m thrilled to be able to partner with our friends and industry legends Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman,” said Dan Cohen, Chief Content Licensing Officer, Paramount Global. “Their taste in material is second to none. Couple that with a chance to once again work with Leslie Greif, who Developed and Executive-Produced the Paramount+ series hit The Offer, and this is a project we are very much looking forward to bringing to a worldwide audience.”
Freeman and his Revelations Entertainment Partner Lori McCreary said, “Morgan and I are thrilled to bring to life the story of Mary Bowser, who volunteered to be placed in the ‘Confederate White House’ (aka The Gray House), posing as an enslaved person. She was thought by everyone to be illiterate and so they spoke freely in front of her, and with her photographic memory, she was able to send battle and secret information to the Union Army and help turn the tide of the Civil War. Revelations is all about revealing truth and this is a truth that needs to be revealed!”
Greif said, “I’ve found tremendous success in exploring subjects that audiences have heard of, but maybe don’t know the whole story as with The Offer, The Hatfields & The McCoys and Sun Records. The Gray House fits that mold – everyone knows the Civil War, but don’t know the impact that many women had on the outcome. I’m so thrilled and fortunate that Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary have put their passion, clout and heart into getting this miniseries greenlit. In addition, having the power and reach that Paramount put into launching The Offer ensures The Gray House is in stellar hands.”
Joffe said, “I’m exhilarated as a director to bring these women of historical consequence to the screen. They are women of fire and courage; decision-makers and fighters who faced incredible obstacles and dared to change the world. It’s rare to find material with such richly complicated, layered characters. I can’t wait to bring these 4 diverse ladies to life for today’s audience.”
Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment filmography includes CBS’ Madam Secretary TV series, and the movie productions Invictus, 5 Flights Up and the documentary film about cancer, The C Word. Recent accolades include an Emmy nomination for The Story of God With Morgan Freeman, three Emmy award nominations for Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman, a Peabody Award for the ESPN 30 for 30 episode “The 16th Man”. Freeman won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby.
Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary, and Revelations are represented by Fred Specktor of CAA and Jason Sloane of Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern and Schuyler M. Moore of Greenberg Glusker.
Most recently, Greif and Big Dreams developed, co-wrote and executive produced the 10-hour event series The Offer for Paramount+. Greif and Big Dreams produced the two-part event documentary Kisstory for A&E, which premiered opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival. As a follow up to 2019’s Egypt Live special, which aired in 95 countries, Big Dreams is once again partnering with Discovery for a two-hour special on the 100th anniversary of Howard Carter’s King Tut find. Greif previously produced under his Thinkfactory label, the Costner award-winning limited series Hatfields & McCoys.