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HBO Films and Playtone Acquire Vincent Bugliosi’s Epic Book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy for a Ten-Part Miniseries; Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Bill Paxton to Executive Produce


HBO Films and Playtone have acquired Vincent Bugliosi’s recent epic book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which debunks conspiracy theories to establish that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he shot the President on Nov. 22, 1963, it was announced today by Colin Callender, president, HBO Films. Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will executive produce the ten-part miniseries with Bill Paxton, the star of the HBO series Big Love, which Playtone produces in association with HBO.

“We are delighted that Tom, Gary and Bill brought this amazing project to HBO,” said Callender. “The successful creative partnership we have enjoyed with them over the years imbues us with a confidence, an excitement and the knowledge that Bugliosi’s riveting book will make a very powerful transition to the screen.”

Bugliosi’s impressive 1612-page story, a New York Times best seller that the Los Angeles Times called “a book for the ages,” emphatically refutes conspiracy theorists with rich detail about the events that led Lee Harvey Oswald to kill the President. He is also the author of the award-winning true crime book Helter Skelter, which detailed his prosecution of the Charles Manson murders and inspired two made-for-TV movies.

“I’m really excited to be working with people of the immense stature of Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Bill Paxton,” says Bugliosi. “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 percent accept the findings of the Warren Commission that Oswald acted alone. Working with Playtone and HBO, I’m confident that we can reverse those numbers and finally bring the truth to the American public.”

The project found its way to Playtone and HBO through the efforts of actor Bill Paxton, a native Texan who brought the recently published book to Hanks and Goetzman, his producers on HBO’s Big Love. A native Texan, Paxton was a child when he accompanied his 11-year-old brother and father to an appearance that President Kennedy made in Paxton’s hometown of Fort Worth on Nov. 22, 1963 before moving on to visit Dallas.

“This is the greatest story that’s never been told,” says Paxton. “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. On a personal note, I saw President Kennedy the morning of that fateful day when he spoke in Fort Worth. I was eight and a half years old. 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.”

Tom Hanks (executive producer) has an impressive list of producer credits along with his massive list of acting credentials. He has produced such films as Cast Away, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Polar Express, The Ant Bully and HBO Films’ Starter for Ten. His TV producing credits include the award-winning HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon and Band of Brothers, and the current HBO series Big Love. As an actor, Hanks has been Oscar-nominated five times and won twice, for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. His feature film acting credits also include The Da Vinci Code, The Polar Express, The Terminal, The Ladykillers, Catch Me If You Can, Road to Perdition, Cast Away, The Green Mile, both Toy Story films, You’ve Got Mail, Saving Private Ryan, That Thing You Do!, Apollo 13, Sleepless in Seattle and A League of Their Own.

Gary Goetzman’s (executive producer) producing credits include The Polar Express, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Beloved, That Thing You Do!, The Ant Bully, the Academy Award-winning The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Devil in a Blue Dress, Miami Blues, Amos and Andrew, Storefront Hitchcock, Magnificent Desolation (filmed in 3D, Imax), Neil Young: Heart of Gold, Stop Making Sense, HBO Films’ Starter for Ten and HBO’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning miniseries Band of Brothers. He also currently executive produces the HBO series Big Love. Hanks and Goetzman are currently producing Charlie Wilson’s War, Where the Wild Things Are, The Great Buck Howard, City of Ember and Mamma Mia!, as well as two HBO Films miniseries: John Adams and The Pacific, with Steven Spielberg.

Bill Paxton (executive producer) has earned Golden Globe nominations for the HBO productions Big Love and A Bright Shining Lie. He also has starred in such films as A Simple Plan, Mighty Joe Young, Twister, Apollo 13 and Tombstone, among others. Paxton directed the 2005 feature film The Greatest Game Ever Played, a golf drama based on the true story of the 1913 U.S. Open, and Frailty, in which he also starred.

Vincent Bugliosi (author) is the acclaimed prosecutor who convicted Charles Manson in the Tate-LaBianca murders, a case that later served as the basis for his best-selling book Helter Skelter, the biggest-selling true crime book in publishing history. Like Helter Skelter, his books And The Sea Will Tell and Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away with Murder reached #1 on the New York Times best seller list. Among Bugliosi’s other books are The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President and Till Death Us Do Part: A True Murder Mystery. Bugliosi received his law degree in 1964 from UCLA Law School. ln his career as a prosecutor for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, he lost just one of the 106 felony jury trials he prosecuted, including 21 consecutive murder convictions.


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