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Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton & Jacki Weaver Head To JFK Assassination Film ‘Parkland’

Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton & Jacki Weaver Head To JFK Assassination Film 'Parkland'

It’s no secret that Tom Hanks as a producer is fond of looking at the past, whether through the prism of the space race, in “From The Earth To The Moon,” or through war — specifically World War II — as in companion pieces “Band Of Brothers” and “The Pacific.” Now, Hanks will set his sights on one of the most traumatic events in American history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, with “Parkland,” which has cast its leads.

Paul Giamatti will star alongside Billy Bob Thornton and Jacki Weaver, whose stock continues to rise after her Oscar-nominated turn in the 2010 Australian crime film “Animal Kingdom.” Making his directorial debut, Peter Landesman (former journalist-turned-novelist) will adapt the film from Vincent Bugliosi’s “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.” The film will focus on the chaotic events that occurred at Parkland Hospital (where the President’s body was rushed to) on that fall day in 1963.

Barring a TV mini-series and Oliver Stone’s conspiracy epic “JFK,” Hollywood has shied away from dealing with the tragedy directly. “Parkland” will apparently follow in the footsteps of “Bobby” by being an ensemble affair, but no other names have been cast yet. With a release date scheduled for the 50th anniversary of the assassination next year, the film will begin shooting primarily in Austin, Texas, presumably with some filming taking place on the actual site of Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas.

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First, it is not true that Hollywood avoided the subject except for "JFK". In 1973, Burt Lancaster starred in Executive Action, a film about the JFK conspiracy. As for Vince Bugliosi, his book does little more than regurtitate the Warren Commission Report, which itself presumed Oswalds guilt and twisted the facts to support its pre-concieved conclusions.

greg parker

Bugliosi is a compulsive prosecutor and his book is a prosecutor’s brief. It doesn’t tell the real story and Bugliosi’s “facts” would never have passed muster in anything but a kangaroo court.

I know Giamatti, Thornton and Weaver would give outstanding performances, but I hope they reconsider. In the end, history is not being reclaimed by Bugliosi – his tome is merely the refocusing and reasserting of the officially sanctioned version of history. There is a BIG difference.

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