Director Patty Jenkins was "rocked" by the true story of "I Am the Night"

Patty Jenkins: Dark story of "I Am the Night"

Director Patty Jenkins reached new heights in 2017 with her record-breaking film "Wonder Woman." Now she's back in the director's chair with a new TNT mini-series, "I Am the Night," which is inspired by the true story of Fauna Hodel.

"In my entire life, I had never heard a story like this," Jenkins said Monday on "CBS This Morning."

In the 1960s, Hodel, who finds out she was adopted, was searching for the truth about her background. In the process, she finds a surprising connection to the infamous unsolved "Black Dahlia" murder.

When Jenkins met with Hodel, she couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"It's like it unfolds, and you're like, 'What? What?! What?!?!' And I went home and got on the internet and started looking into it and didn't stop for days. I was so rocked by the story that I was like overwhelmed with how dark it was," Jenkins said. "But the shining light of the entire story that I couldn't stop thinking about was this happy, beautiful, positive woman who was telling me the scariest thing I've ever heard, and the hardest thing to believe about your identity. But yet, she said, I'm OK with it."

I Am the Night featuring Chris Pine & Patty Jenkins [TRAILER #1] | Coming January 2019 | TNT by TNT on YouTube

Jenkins worked with her screenwriter husband, Sam Sheridan – "the most prolific noir reader and a great writer in the genre," she said – to write the series. The project also reunites Jenkins with "Wonder Woman" star Chris Pine, who plays a struggling tabloid journalist whose search for a story draws him into the young woman's search for her family.

"The real story is this woman's identity. She was hidden away for a very specific reason. Once you started to unfold what her identity was, it led to a mountain of very dark secrets that no one could find out," Jenkins said.

"I Am the Night" premieres Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, on TNT.