History channel greenlights Leonardo DiCaprio-produced documentary on Ulysses S. Grant

'Grant' will portray the life of one of the most complex and underappreciated presidents in the country's history


                            History channel greenlights Leonardo DiCaprio-produced documentary on Ulysses S. Grant

The HISTORY channel has announced that it has given the go-ahead for a six-part television documentary named 'Grant,' which will be based on author Ron Chernow's #1 New York Times bestselling biography of the same name.

'Grant' will portray the life of one of the most complex and underappreciated presidents in the country's history, Ulysses S. Grant. The former president was formerly a prominent soldier and general and led the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy during the Civil War, before serving in the Oval Office for two terms between 1869 and 1877. 

Grant is one of the most underappreciated presidents in the country's history (Courtesy of the National Archives/Newsmakers)
Grant is one of the most underappreciated presidents in the country's history (Courtesy of the National Archives/Newsmakers)

The documentary will explore Grant's life story during a turbulent time in the country's history — the Civil War and the reconstruction that followed. While his role in the armed forces is well-documented, what is lesser known is his struggle during his youth, his time at West Point, his service in the Mexican War alongside some of the greatest names from US military history or his several failed business ventures before the Civil War.

Because of his administration's propensity for scandals and his reputation for being a drunkard, Grant is often disregarded by scholars for his other achievements — namely, the reconstruction of the country, the diplomatic forging and reconciliation of the North and the South, and most courageously, protecting the four million freed slaves who had become US citizens with the right to vote despite the enormous resistance he faced.

Speaking on the occasion, Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President of Programming at HISTORY, said: "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."

"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," he added.

The view was a similar one from Lionsgate as well. Jeniffer O' Connell, the company's EVP of Alternative programming, said: "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."

She continued: "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 series will be produced by Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson's Appian Way Productions and RadicalMedia — which, in the past, has been responsible for the likes of Netflix's 'Bobby Kennedy for President,' 'MARS,' and 'Hamilton's America' — in association with Lionsgate Television. 

Chernow will be serving as executive producer along with Dave Sirulnick, Justin Wilkes and Fisher Stevens for RadicalMedia.

Di Caprio will also produce a feature film based on the biography under his Appian Way Productions with Lionsgate, which will be distributing the title under its Summit Entertainment label. The movie will mark the second collaboration between HISTORY and Appian Way.