Release Date: October 4, 2013

Director: Peter Landesman

Writer: Peter Landesman

Stars:  Zac EfronTom WellingPaul GiamattiMarcia Gay HardenRon LivingstonJames Badge DaleJackie Earle HaleyColin HanksBilly Bob Thornton and Jacki Weaver

I’m a little later with this week’s Trailer Tuesday. Better late than never, though.

I’m very excited about the new American Film Company JFK movie Parkland. For those uninitiated with The American Film Company, they “produce engaging movies for grown-ups based on great American stories.”

Now they’re following up their first movie, Lincoln assassination court drama The Conspirator, with another movie centering around an American presidential assassination. This movie is about the fallout that happened immediately after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It looks to be a tense portrait of a tragic event of U.S. history.

While putting this entry together, I came across something interesting that casts a little of doubt on the movie for me. It pertains to writer/director Peter Landesman. According to the trivia on his IMDb page he “Became a figure of controversy when his New York Times article about sex slaves was accused of being partly fictitious. Slate magazine ran a piece entitled “Doubting Landesman” citing inconsistencies within the piece.”

Here’s the “Doubting Landesman” Slate article from January 2004. It raises very interesting questions and paints Landesman as a sensationalist who will exaggerate (or generate) information to pad his stories.

In his IMDb message board, there’s one lone post by user MontaukGirl from 2008 entitled “Geraldo Rivera clone.” The post says: “I read a story by this guy about LA gangs in the LA Weekly and what was funny was how he put himself in the middle of the story and even said his life was in danger from gangs. They put out a “hit” on him so it made him seem extra brave in the rest of the story. It was totally sensationalist and you could tell the facts were exaggerated so I’m not surprised by his rep. His news story was more like a movie treatment than anything else.”

You can read the LA Weekly article from December 2007 she references here.

Journalism ethics aside, Parkland looks great. If Landesman does have a propensity for embellishment, it would go against The American Film Company’s core mission statement. I would hope he would curb it for this project.

You can see more about The American Film Company’s projects here. In the pipeline for the history-based studio is WWII pacific theater drama Ghosts of the Pacific and Teddy Roosevelt biopic Born in the Badlands (I’m very excited about that). You can check out the Parkland trailer below.


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    • Right? I got a little distracted by the writer/director and didn’t get a chance to talk up the cast.

      Usually when I do these trailer Tuesdays I lists a few actors. But there’s so many in this one that I went down the list and kept adding.

      I’m intrigued by Zac Efron. I think he could be a good actor once he breaks out of his teen pretty boy image.


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