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When Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman first announced their intention to produce Peter Landesman’s proposed adaptation of Vincent Bugliosi’s Kennedy assassination book Reclaiming History, the project was billed as a meticulous character study with a real ensemble feel. Consequently, many speculated Parkland would probably steer clear of household names since there wouldn’t be any clear leads. It turns out that’s not the case.
We still don’t know how many and how small the roles including nurses, doctors, FBI agents and Kennedy staff members might be, but whatever is being offered, high end talent is flocking toward it. Sideways’ Paul Giamatti, Sling Blade’s Billy Bob Thornton and Animal Kingdom’s Jacki Weaver have all officially boarded the project. At this time, it’s unclear who any of them might play, but given how talented they all are, each should be able to handle whatever he or she is given.
The trick with making a historical account like this is to take the right angle. Ben Affleck’s Argo worked so well because it took a story everyone knew and told a sideplot most of us were unaware of. In theory, Parkland sounds like it’s going to do roughly the same thing. Named after the hospital JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby were all pronounced dead at, it supposedly follows many of the people on the periphery of the traumatic events.
Given all the household names involved, expect to hear a whole lot about Parkland in the coming year as it moves into production and hopefully, starts getting Oscar buzz.