Wednesday, September 19, 2007

HBO, Playtone Acquire 'Kennedy' Miniseries


HBO Films and Playtone have acquired Vincent Bugliosi's "Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy" and will develop it into a 10-part miniseries. Playtone's Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will executive produce along with "Big Love" star Bill Paxton.

"The successful creative partnership we have enjoyed with Tom, Gary and Bill over the years imbues us with a confidence...that Bugliosi's riveting book will make a very powerful transition to the screen," HBO Films president Colin Callender said.

Playtone has produced such projects for HBO as minies "From the Earth to the Moon," "Band of Brothers" and the upcoming "John Adams" and "The Pacific" as well as the series "Big Love."

In his New York Times best-seller, Bugliosi, who prosecuted Charles Manson and penned "Helter Skelter," disclaims many conspiracy theories and contends that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole party behind the 1963 Kennedy assassination.

"Seventy-five percent of the American public believes in the falsehood that there was a conspiracy in the assassination of President Kennedy, and only 19% accept the findings of the Warren Commission that Oswald acted alone," Bugliosi said. "Working with Playtone and HBO, I'm confident that we can reverse those numbers and finally bring the truth to the American public."

Bringing "Reclaiming History" to the small screen has been a passion for native Texan Paxton who as an eight-year-old accompanied his father and older brother to an appearance that President Kennedy made in Paxton's hometown of Fort Worth Nov. 22, 1963 just hours before his assassination in Dallas. He brought the book to Hanks and Goetzman, who executive produce "Big Love."

"Based on the facts and evidence that Vincent Bugliosi so masterfully presents, it's a story that has haunted me and my generation our whole lives," Paxton said. "Now, with the 50th anniversaries of President Kennedy's inaugural address and assassination looming in the next few years, we felt it was the right time to pursue this project."