History announced today that the network has green-lighted production of a new scripted miniseries, The Hatfields and The McCoys, to premiere on History in 2012, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of America's most infamous family feud. Academy Award winner Kevin Costner (The Untouchables, Field of Dreams, Dances with Wolves, The Bodyguard and Open Range) will star, playing the role "Devil" Anse Hatfield. The announcement was made by , President & General Manager, History.
The miniseries, to be produced by Leslie Greif's production company, Thinkfactory Media, and Kevin Costner as producing partner, will chronicle the bloody hostilities between two clans that escalated to the point of near war between two states.
"The Hatfields and The McCoys is a classic tale of American history. These are names that are widely recognized, yet few people know the real story that made them famous. We are thrilled that Kevin Costner, one of the most iconic American actors of our time, will be starring as Devil," Ms. Dubuc said. "At History, part of our legacy - and indeed one of the reasons we are enjoying such great success right now - is our ability to look at the many stories of history through a contemporary lens. Working with Leslie Greif, I am confident that History will reacquaint viewers of our generation with this fascinating and timeless saga of courage, sacrifice and family love amid insidious plots and endless intrigue."
"The Hatfields and The McCoys has been a passion project of mine for over 20 years, and it was realized the day I met Nancy Dubuc, she made a dream come true when she shared the same enthusiasm and vision for this epic American drama," said Greif. "And then to be privileged and fortunate enough to have a superstar like Kevin Costner as "Devil" is beyond anything I could have imagined. And now thanks to History, this timeless and iconic tale will finally be told.
Said Mr. Costner: "Everyone knows the legend of the Hatfields-McCoy feud, but few know the true story of what occurred to make the two families become mortal enemies. As an avid history fan, I am thrilled to join with Leslie Greif and History in this dramatic re-telling of a classic and timeless tale that is forever immersed in the folklore of our country."
The Hatfield-McCoy saga begins with Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy. Close friends and comrades during the Civil War, they returned to their neighboring homes - Hatfield in West Virginia, McCoy just across the Tug River border in Kentucky - to increasing tensions, misunderstandings and resentments that soon exploded into all-out warfare between the two families. As hostilities grew, friends, neighbors and outside forces joined the fight, bringing the two states to the brink of another Civil War.
Their story also includes: a tempestuous love affair between Hatfield's son and McCoy's daughter, which had disastrous consequences; the execution of McCoy's three young sons in retaliation for the Rasputin-like murder of Hatfield's beloved brother; a New Year's Massacre of the McCoy clan and burning of their home, which also sparked international headlines; a public clash between state governors; and ultimately the involvement of the United States Supreme Court.
Leslie Greif's experience in the feature and scripted TV series space includes creating, writing, directing and producing award-winning and critically acclaimed projects. Greif co-created and executive produced Walker, Texas Ranger, TV movies include Monday Night Mayhem, starring John Turturro, Word of Honor starring Don Johnson, and Baby for Sale starring Dana Delany. Greif also produced Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool, and the highly acclaimed and Emmy nominated film Brando. His feature film credits include Funny Money, Keys to Tulsa, Heaven's Prisoners, and Meet Wally Sparks.
The Hatfields and The McCoys is being produced for History by Thinkfactory Media. Leslie Greif will serve as an Executive Producer on the project with Herb Nanas and Darrell Fetty producing for Thinkfactory Media. The writer is Ted Mann (Deadwood, Emmy winner NYPD Blue, Luck), with revisions by Ronald Parker (Emmy winner for Broken Trail, Emmy nominated Joan of Arc). The executive Producers for History are Nancy Dubuc and Dirk Hoogstra.