Exclusive Media Co-Chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East announced today that principal photography has commenced on the feature film Parkland. Based on the book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, by Vincent Bugliosi, the adapted screenplay is written by award-winning journalist and novelist Peter Landesman, who is making his directorial debut. The dramatic thriller is produced by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, as well as Exclusive Media, and The American Film Company, which will also co-finance with Exclusive. Bill Paxton is also a producer.
Founded by entrepreneur Joe Ricketts, The American Film Company is dedicated to making films about true stories from American history. The company's last feature, The Conspirator, starred James McAvoy and Robin Wright and was directed by Robert Redford. Ricketts and American Film Company president Brian D. Falk are Executive Producers on Parkland.
Parkland recounts the chaotic events that occurred at Parkland Hospital in Dallas on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, November 22nd 1963. Part thriller, part real-time drama, Parkland is the ferocious, heart-stopping story of unexceptional people fighting for survival and reaching for heroism in an exceptional time.
Actors joining the ensemble in Parkland are: James Badge Dale (The Pacific, Rubicon, Shame), Oscar nominated Jackie Earle Haley (Lincoln, Watchmen, Shutter Island), Colin Hanks (The Guilt Trip, W., The Good Guys), David Harbour (End of Watch, The Newsroom, The Green Hornet), and Golden Glove nominee Ron Livingston (Office Space, Band of Brothers, Sex and the City).
Previously announced cast include Oscar nominated Paul Giamatti (The Ides of March, Cinderella Man), Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade, Eagle Eye), Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook, Animal Kingdom), Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River, Pollock), Zac Efron (The Paperboy, At Any Price, The Lucky One), and Jeremy Strong (Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln).
Acclaimed Academy Award winning director of photography Barry Ackroyd (The Hurt Locker, Captain Phillips, Contraband, Green Zone, United 93) will lens director Peter Landesman's powerful and mesmerizing story. Here's what Nigel Sinclair had to say about the drama.
"We already have the dream filmmaking team with Playtone and Peter Landesman, but to now have Joe Ricketts, Brian D. Falk and The American Film Company joining this project, with their innovative marketing strategies, is an exceptional addition. Barry Ackroyd and this powerful and diverse ensemble cast round out the project and set it apart from all others."
The American Film Company CEO Joe Ricketts also released the following statement.
"We're delighted to be partnering with Exclusive Media and Playtone on this exciting project. Our aim is to tell compelling stories that accurately portray extraordinary characters and events from American history, and that's exactly what Parkland promises to do."
Peter Landesman is an award-winning journalist and novelist who wrote the New York Times article "The Girls Next Door," the basis for the Kevin Kline starrer Trade, which he also executive produced. He has a number of scripts in active development including the former FBI agent Mark Felt aka "Deep Throat," story set up at Playtone and Universal Pictures and The Mission for Warner Bros. and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Landesman also wrote an adaptation of The Galton Case, the 8th book in the mystery series by Ross MacDonald, for Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures.
As part of the production deal, Exclusive Media purchased the rights to the book that provides the source material for the film - the epic Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedyy, by renowned author and former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi. The work was published in 2007 by W.W. Norton & Company and won the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. Bugliosi, a three time Edgar Award winner, also wrote the number one New York Times bestsellers; "Helter Skelter," "And The Sea Will Tell" and "Outrage."
To achieve the 1960s period look, the film will be shot primarily in Austin, Texas and is destined for a 2013 US theatrical release around the 50th anniversary of the assassination. Limited filming also takes place in Dallas.
The production of Parkland is a partnership between Playtone, Exclusive Media and The American Film Company.