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The January 6 Capitol Hill riot that shook the US in 2021 is to be adapted into a Hollywood film called ‘J6’, and will retell the story from a ground-level perspective. According to entertainment-news outlet Deadline, it will be scripted and directed by Billy Ray, who worked on ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ and anti-Trump miniseries ‘The Comey Rule’, and produced by ‘Don’t Look Up’ and ‘The Big Short’ director Adam McKay.

Ray said he’d been inspired to tell the story of the police officers who responded to the riot after speaking to a number of law enforcement officials who had been on Capitol Hill during the unrest.

“The goal was to do a ground-level view of a momentous day,” Ray told Deadline. “It’s about protesters who became rioters, and cops who became defenders of democracy. Someone else can tell the story of the chaos at the White House on that day. I wanted to stay in the trenches.”

‘J6’ was originally planned as a five-episode miniseries for the US premium TV network Showtime, but Ray subsequently decided to turn the 300-page script into a 120-page feature, and it was this that captured the attention of McKay.

The director has described the script as “harrowing and terrifying,” and opined that it’s “sure to become the definitive cinematic document on that gut-wrenching day.”

The public reaction to the film’s announcement has been rather divisive, however. While some seem excited about its forthcoming release, many are already dismissing it as blatant political propaganda and noting that most Americans will not be interested in a rehash of the events of January 6. 

News channels such as CNN have referenced the Capitol riot almost every day since it happened, with pundits describing it as an insurrection and comparing it to various tragic events in US history, such as Pearl Harbor or the 9/11 attacks. President Joe Biden called it “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War” – a parallel that many pro-establishment media outlets subscribed to but others harshly criticized.

The riot saw more than 2,000 supporters of then-President Donald Trump storm the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Their aim was to stop the joint session of Congress from counting the electoral votes that would have formalized President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential elections. Five people died in the unrest: one was shot and killed by a police officer, another suffered an amphetamine overdose, and the remaining three died of natural causes during or following the incident. Four officers involved in the law enforcement response to the riot died by suicide within seven months of the event.