UPDATED, 12:06 PM: HBO said today that its documentary about the long-serving Arizona senator will be titled John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls and will premiere at 8 PM Monday, May 28. That’s Memorial Day — appropriate for a film about the man who served 5 1/2 years as a POW in North Vietnam after being shot down over Hanoi in 1967.
PREVIOUSLY, April 16: John McCain certainly has led an extraordinary American life, and now HBO has begun work on a documentary about the six-term senator, 2008 GOP presidential nominee and longtime Vietnam POW.
Produced and directed by multiple Emmy winner Peter Kunhardt (HBO’s Jim: The James Foley Story, King in the Wilderness), along with his Emmy-winning sons George Kunhardt and Teddy Kunhardt (Jim: The James Foley Story), the untitled film is an exclusive profile of one of the most influential forces in modern American politics.
Having served 31 years as the U.S. senator from Arizona, McCain agreed to participate in the film shortly after being diagnosed with brain cancer. His battle against the disease underscores the fighting spirit and resilience of a remarkable man, who continues to crusade for the causes he believes in despite advancing health issues and daunting odds.
No premiere date is set for the film, which will provide unprecedented access to his daily life in Washington, D.C. and Sedona, AZ. The film also features interviews with family, friends, colleagues and leading political figures.
“Through the years, John has rightly earned the reputation as an American hero,” Peter Kunhardt said. “In the final chapter of his life, he is reminding this generation of what government can and should look like.”
Along with The James Foley Story and this year’s King in the Wilderness, Kunhardt Films’ HBO credits include The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee, Becoming Warren Buffett, Nixon by Nixon: In His Own Words, Gloria: In Her Own Words and Teddy: In His Own Words.