HBO’s long-gestating miniseries Lewis And Clark has gotten a formal green light, along with Matthias Schoenaerts (upcoming Far From The Madding Crowd) in a co-starring role with previously announced Casey Affleck (Interstellar). They will play William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, respectively.  Production is slated to begin this summer on the six-hour miniseries executive produced by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Tim Kelly and Adam Leipzig.

Image (6) hbologo3__140528151602-275x116.png for post 736757“In Lewis And Clark, we can see American idealism and the breathtaking natural beauty of the continent, as well as the complexities and tragedies of what came to be known as America’s ‘manifest destiny’,” said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. “We are tremendously excited to bring together this incredible group of talents to tell a seminal American story.”

Based on the book Undaunted Courage, by Stephen E. Ambrose, it tells the story of America’s first contact with the land and native tribes of the country west of the Mississippi River. The miniseries follows the epic journey of the Corps of Discovery and its captains, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who traverse uncharted territory on a mission to deliver President Jefferson’s message of sovereignty as they search for his fabled all-water route to the Pacific. Lewis And Clark focuses not just on their incredible achievements, but also on the physical, spiritual and emotional toll the expedition takes on them.

Lewis And Clark, from HBO and National Geographic Entertainment, is produced by Playtone, in association with Pitt’s Plan B and Class 5. John Curran directs and co-wrote, along with Norton and Michelle Ashford.