Tom Hanks: The actor, director and producer of entertainment products about American history is on the trail of JFK’s assassination.
It seems that wherever Tom Hanks goes, a historical miniseries is soon to follow. There’s his latest foray into World War II storytelling, “The Pacific,” which airs this month on HBO, and then there’s the small matter of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which Hanks plans to tackle soon. —KA
For an upcoming project, Hanks has obtained the rights to Vincent Bugliosi’s controversial Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He is eager to weigh in on America’s quintessential murder mystery. (Bugliosi is best known for having put Charles Manson in prison for the Tate murders.) Hanks and Gary Goetzman will act as executive producers, and Hanks hopes the adaptation will air in 2013. He believes the public has been snookered into believing that Lee Harvey Oswald was framed. “We’re going to do the American public a service,” Hanks says. “A lot of conspiracy types are going to be upset. If we do it right, it’ll be perhaps one of the most controversial things that has ever been on TV.”
The Kennedy assassination is the fire-breathing dragon of U.S. history, and Hanks seems singularly hubristic about grabbing its tail. Once, when I interviewed Gerald Ford at his home office in Rancho Mirage, Calif., for a book, the ex-President pulled me aside, pointing to that week’s incoming correspondence. Mail about his role in the Warren Commission was three or four feet high compared with a measly inch pertaining to his White House tenure. But Hanks is perfectly aware of the beehive he is about to kick over. He seems to relish the prospect.