The Kennedy family has been documented in all kinds of programming, from miniseries to TV movies and documentaries, and now TLC will add another spin to the Kennedy Presidency and assassination with a new documentary called Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy. The network has greenlighted the project to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination.
For a couple of months after Kennedy was killed in 1963, letters poured in to the White House, offering condolences to Jackie Kennedy, as well as words of support. According to THR, some of these letters, including a note from a Peace Corp volunteer and a 13-year-old with polio, were later compiled in the book Letters to Jackie: Condolences From a Grieving Nation by Ellen Fitzpatrick. Now, to bring the epistolary format of the book to the small screen, a slew of celebrities will read some of the touching letters created in the months after Kennedy’s death.
Letters to Jackie will be directed by Bill Couturié, the award-winning director behind such projects as Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt and Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. Clearly the man is fond of colons in title, but despite the title habit, the documentary should be in capable hands. In fact, 20 celebrities have signed on to read the letters. Those celebrities are Demian Bichir, Jessica Chastain, Chris Cooper, Viola Davis, Zooey Deschanel, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Allison Janney, John Krasinski, Melissa Leo, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Chloe Moretz, Mark Ruffalo, Octavia Spencer, Hailee Steinfeld, Channing Tatum, Betty White, and Michelle Williams. Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will executive produce, and Couturié is also earning writing and producing credits for the gig.
Hearing sad letters read for a couple of hours may not be the easiest way to spend an evening, but it’s certainly a new take on such an historic event, and should prove informative. Letters to Jackie is expected to air on TLC sometime this fall.