BREAKING: Zac Efron and Marcia Gay Harden have joined Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton and Jacki Weaver in Parkland, which Peter Landesman wrote and will direct based on Vincent Bugliosi’s book Reclaiming History: The Assassination Of President John F. Kennedy. The film is produced by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman and also is being produced and financed by Exclusive Media and its co-chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East.
Bugliosi’s mammoth book, which Playtone and Landesman originally set up at HBO, refuted the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination that were embraced in the Oliver Stone-directed JFK. The film does not address the conspiracy aspect and focuses only on what happened at Parkland Hospital in Dallas on the day Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. The film, to be shot in Austin, is destined for a 2013 U.S. theatrical release around the 50th anniversary of the assassination.
“Zac Efron continues to impress us with his recent shift into more dramatic roles which showcase his exceptional acting skills and Marcia Gay Harden is an unparalleled actress who gives tour de force performances in every film she appears. We look forward to seeing their combined talent in Peter Landesman’s powerful and mesmerizing story alongside the excellent cast already attached to this film,” said East and Sinclair.
Efron is coming off the Lee Daniels-directed The Paperboy and next stars in Sony Pictures Classics’ At Any Price, which is being sold internationally by Exclusive Media. Harden next stars in the CBS Films pic Get A Job and is shooting Elsa And Fred.
Matt Jackson, Exclusive Media’s Head of U.S. Production, will oversee the production on behalf of the company. Exclusive Media is handling worldwide distribution rights to the film with international led by Alex Walton, President of International Sales and Distribution. Efron is repped by CAA and Alchemy Entertainment while Harden is repped by UTA, Framework Entertainment and Schreck Rose.