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Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman to produce JFK drama


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There is also the HBO "miniseries" project, according to this item in the Dallas Morning News.

Possibly, the "Parkland" movie will be done instead--or perhaps they both will be done.

Anybody know?

DSL

Tom Hanks talks about possible JFK project on HBO

by CHRIS VOGNAR / Movies / Dallas Morning News

Tom Hanks is always on the lookout for new projects to make through his production company, Playtone. Now Dallas is on the list of his possible destinations.

Vincent Bugliosi, the author of Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a 1,612-page tome that debunks conspiracy theories to establish that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President John F. Kennedy, says he optioned the book to Playtone after its 2007 publication.

Bugliosi says it’s his understanding that the production team, which also includes actor Bill Paxton, hopes to film a 10-part miniseries and have it air on HBO near the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, in November 2013.

Early last year, Hanks made his first public comment on the project to Time magazine. “We’re going to do the American public a service,” he said. “A lot of conspiracy types are going to be upset. If we do it right, it’ll be perhaps one of the most controversial things that has ever been on TV.”

Hanks reiterated his interest during a recent visit to Dallas to promote his new movie, Larry Crowne. But he says it’s not a done deal.

“Boy, do we want to do it,” he said. “But there’s really only one way to it, and that’s to have a substantial amount of time so you can go in much, much deeper than ever before and you’re not just repeating what have become the mythical highlights of those four days. That gets to be very expensive, and that gets to be a problem on the corporate level. I can’t say we’re definitely doing it.”

Paxton, who was born and grew up in Fort Worth and starred in the Playtone-produced HBO series Big Love, attributes his interest in the project to having accompanied his father to the appearance Kennedy made in downtown Fort Worth, hours before he was killed on Elm Street in Dallas.

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There is also the HBO "miniseries" project, according to this item in the Dallas Morning News.

Possibly, the "Parkland" movie will be done instead--or perhaps they both will be done.

Anybody know?

DSL

Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Morning News writes:

Five years ago came word that Tom Hanks and Fort Worth native Bill Paxton were partnering on a Kennedy assassination drama based on Vincent Bugliosi’s massive book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, perhaps as a 10-part miniseries for HBO. As Hanks’s Playtone production partner Gary Goetzman told Variety way back when, the mini would posit that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone on November 22, 1963: “I totally believed there was a conspiracy, but after you read the book, you are almost embarrassed that you ever believed it.”

But somewhere between then and now, that project stalled — and now it appears to have been replaced altogether by another Hanks-produced Kennedy drama titled Parkland.

Full story: http://popcultureblo...but-where.html/

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It seems clear to me they realized the impossibility of putting on a "just-the-facts" type mini-series, as there was reason to doubt almost every block in Bugliosi's pyramid. So they scaled it down to a dramatization of the tragedy that tells the STORY they want to tell.

They then threw Paxton a bone--here, you can have a documentary presenting the "facts"...now, leave us to our STORY.

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Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Morning News writes:

...

As Hanks’s Playtone production partner Gary Goetzman told Variety way back when, the mini would posit that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone on November 22, 1963: “I totally believed there was a conspiracy, but after you read the book, you are almost embarrassed that you ever believed it.”

So Goetzman has read Reclaiming History?

Perhaps he would be willing to share his knowledge and insights with members of this forum.

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That's been the story since the beginning, Richard. It goes like this: Bill Paxton, a JFK buff who was in the Ft. Worth crowd on the morning of the assassination, was supposedly blown away by Bugliosi's book, and took it to Goetzman and his partner Hanks in hopes they'd help him make it into a mini-series. Goetzman then read the book and decided to jump on board.

The problem with this scenario, from the beginning, was that the book is a MONSTER, which would have taken more than a few weeks to understand for anyone not fully immersed in the details. This said to me, and others, that Paxton and Goetzman had been buffaloed by Bugliosi.and had been snowed by the volume of the book, and not the quality. This led to a number or people, including myself, sending Goetzman information of which he needed to be aware. In my case, I sent him the article I'd written on Bugliosi's footnotes, in which I proved he'd ignored and taken liberties with the quotes of the eyewitnesses in order to deceive his readers about the likelihood of a first shot miss. Whether or not this had an impact is not known (and I suspect it did not), but it is interesting, nonetheless, that the proposed 10-part Bugliosi project has now been cut way down and split in two, and that Bugliosi's role, as currently presented in the media, s minimal.

Yep, it seems that the 10-part miniseries closing the case has been reduced to a Paxton-controlled detail-oriented documentary and a Hanks/Goetzman-controlled Oswald-did-it easily-digested drama, no doubt "based on real events." This is the coward's way out, IMO. While a 10-part miniseries would have been pretty much a declaration of war on the research community, and would have created an environment where some members of the media might feel tempted to provide a CT response, a one-off documentary by Paxton and a one-off drama by Goetzman and Hanks might very well come-and-go, and get lost in the shuffle of other programming come the 50th. I mean, how many people remember the mini-series on the Kennedys that came out--what-2 years ago? Very few, I bet. It took liberties with history and pacified the public by making Oswald out as the lone shooter, and then disappeared without a trace beyond the ring around the bathtub of American consciousness.

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Richard:

If Gary Goetzman read all 2, 646 pages of RH, I will place eat my copy of the book.

But something about this seems to indicate that this Parkland movie is not a TV film. I actually think its a feature. Is that what everyone else thinks also?

If so, don't they recall just how bad the Estevez movie was?

BTW, some insight into how Estevez got all those stars--e.g. Helen Hunt, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone etc.--into such a bad movie.

He told them it was a film about the assassination of RFK. But, he did not give them the script until after the contracts were signed and about three days before their scenes were shot.

Its incredible to me that Estevez had writer's block on this movie. To the point he had to go to the beautiful town of Cambria in order to actuallly write the script. I mean, for that piece of crud? Its one thing for Orson Welles to send Herman Mankiewicz to VIctorville for six months to write the first draft of Citizen Kane. But to go into seclusion for that punchless mini soap opera Bobby?

I actually had a decent discussion with Estevez after a preview of his film in Beverly Hills. He told me a few things you might not know. He told me that he felt the need to write something about the sixties, and that he felt the RFK assassination was the vehicle for telling the story he wanted to tell. (He is the son of Martin Sheen, after all.) I asked him why it was then that he didn't focus more on the assassination itself. He said that while he didn't want to get "Oliver Stoned" and have people view his movie purely through the conspiracy/non-conspiracy angle, it was his hope that people would use his film as a stepping-off point to read more about the assassination. He then asked me if I knew Lisa Pease, and said he'd read her stuff on the RFK assassination, and found it quite compelling.

So I'm on the fence about Estevez and his film. By starring so many well-known and young actors in his film, and by featuring RFK's inspiring speeches in the film, he no doubt helped expose RFK (and the hope he inspired) to many people who might not otherwise have been exposed to such things.

But, by making his film, he cut into the probability another big budget movie will be made on the subject.

Edited by Pat Speer
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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

There was virtually nothing in the Estevez film about how the RFK assassination was a turning point in the history of the Democratic party. It is a plain fact that the big money in the party were moving right before during and after this RFK assassination. But the RFK assassination SHOWS that turn like nothing else. That signpost on the Democrats road has not been captured by anyone.

This is IMO, is because, unlike with JFK, where the policy differences where still inside the national intelligence bureaucracy, the RFK assassination came at a time when you had a democratic primary campaign actually making connections with grass roots social movements outside the beltway. Imagine if FDR had actually been planning his 32 campaign with the planners of the Bonus March. A lot more bullets would have flown.

This connection between inside and outside beltway is what makes the 1968 RFK campaign the most revealing of all about where the Democrats have gone since then. That is why the RFK assassination must be marginalized and is, seemingly everywhere. The implications are aimed right at the heart of Rahm Emanual and Obama's 100% Corporate Democratic Party.

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There was virtually nothing in the Estevez film about how the RFK assassination was a turning point in the history of the Democratic party. It is a plain fact that the big money in the party were moving right before during and after this RFK assassination. But the RFK assassination SHOWS that turn like nothing else. That signpost on the Democrats road has not been captured by anyone.

This is IMO, is because, unlike with JFK, where the policy differences where still inside the national intelligence bureaucracy, the RFK assassination came at a time when you had a democratic primary campaign actually making connections with grass roots social movements outside the beltway. Imagine if FDR had actually been planning his 32 campaign with the planners of the Bonus March. A lot more bullets would have flown.

This connection between inside and outside beltway is what makes the 1968 RFK campaign the most revealing of all about where the Democrats have gone since then. That is why the RFK assassination must be marginalized and is, seemingly everywhere. The implications are aimed right at the heart of Rahm Emanual and Obama's 100% Corporate Democratic Party.

It all depends where you sit, Nathaniel. A large percentage of Republicans think ACORN--which doesn't even exist anymore--stole the most recent election for Obama.

http://tv.msnbc.com/2012/12/04/half-the-gop-thinks-acorn-which-no-longer-exists-stole-the-election-for-obama/

Back to the Parkland drama...

Should we start a betting pool on how many deceptions are made in the program?

I'm betting 1) they'll show the discovery of the stretcher bullet and present it as being a Carcano bullet; 2) they'll present the stretcher as being Connally's stretcher, when the descriptions given for the stretcher--what was on top, etc--matches the stretcher used to treat Ronnie Fuller, and 3) they'll show Kennedy's head wound at the top of his head, and completely avoid the confusing fact many of the Parkland personnel indicated it was at the back of Kennedy's head.

I suspect they'll cave on one point, however. Seeing as many if not most single-assassin theorists now accept that some sort of clean-up was performed on Kennedy's limo, they'll probably show that--and make it out to be an innocent mistake.

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It all depends where you sit, Nathaniel. A large percentage of Republicans think ACORN--which doesn't even exist anymore--stole the most recent election for Obama.

------

I don't think it depends on where you sit. Obama was objectively the most right wing president in history, but the Corporate media invented the tea party to scream at him as if he were a socialist. Corporate networked people are making media decisions that constantly move the theatre rightward. They have been doing it for 49 years in a row. There are always tiny pockets of rightwing lunatics. But that does not explain why there is no left at all, ever allowed on TV and tiny pockets of right wing lunatics are allowed to define the entire national spectrum with insane definitions of left . But boy does it help Wall Street.

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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Mr. Heidenheimer - I think you are overstating the case. Obama is no rightist. He's not a 'liberal' either. And we do have leftists on TV, though not nearly enough. Of course if you position yourself with die hard Communists or JBS you are going to view American politics in an extreme way. How do you view Oswald?

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Obama is a net-effect rightist. OF COURSE he does not sound like one. That is not his role. HIs role is leave the bully pulpit completely vacant after the most unpopular Republican since hoover, allow Republican rhetoric to be the only thing audible, keep the Bush treasury department and radically increase secrecy, the intelligence bureaucracies complete autonomy for doing anything-- if indeed such an increase was possible after w. he found a way-- and somehow through silence 411 allow the radically rightist """Bush""" tax cuts to be renewed through the most feeble opposition conceivable short of a historical lobotomy. To be W. during W. took a puppet show political system, which is why W. always wore that smirk. as in "I can't believe they are falling for this xxxx 38 years after a CIA coup" To be w. AFTER 2008? That was a challenge! Anyone who thinks the Democrats have opposed anything Wall Street wanted relating to war and economics is sleeping, and fails to understand the significance of the assassinations.

As for Oswald he was playing a role also. His trouble was he could not see the edges of the drama.

By the way, who would you call a "leftist on TV"?

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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Plenty of leftist talking heads on Current TV and MSNBC - Rachel Maddow, Cenk Ugur. Much more now than in the last several decades. But if by left you mean old left like Chomsky, none, and certainly none who would openly express a conspiratorial view of hiatory.

I don't think we are very far apart btw. Things are screwed up. Money and power corrupt absolutely. Nothing new here. Threats to the system are dealt with, and what we see of government is a sham, as are most of our history books. When people rise up, as they tried to do in the 60's, well... You see what happened. All of it. Not just the major political assassinations, also Kent State, floods of illegal drugs, agent provocateurs like in the 1968 Democratic convention, and countless less visible acts. As for Obama, he like any other intelligent do-gooder has his hands tied in ways that remain pretty much invisible.

But - to get back to the subject at hand, is the new TV drama centered on Parkland Hospital? When is it coming?

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