History-Loving Tom Hanks Putting Together J.F.K. Assassination Drama

Tom Hanks Headshot

Though he’s best known as an actor, Tom Hanks is a man who contains multitudes, and also has many other hobbies. When he’s not thinking about the moon or studying the great wars, sometimes he produces movies. Heck, he’s even got his own company, Playtone, that’s set up to help him do just that. A since we know what a sucker the man is for 60s history, it should come as no surprise that Variety is reporting Hanks and his Playtone partner, Gary Goetzman, are putting together a new movie that chronicles the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

From writer/director Peter Landesman, Parkland is set to be an ensemble film that studies the events of the day of Kennedy’s tragic death from multiple angles. Included in its cast of characters is said to be Kennedy’s wife, an FBI agent, a young doctor, a reporter, multiple members of the Secret Service and Kennedy’s staff, Lee Harvey Oswald’s older brother, and an infamous clothing manufacturer with a camera named Abraham Zapruder. Sounds like we’re going to be reporting on the casting of this thing for months.

The title, Parkland, is said to refer to Parkland Memorial Hospital, the institution where Kennedy was taken after he got shot, where Oswald was taken after he got shot, and where Oswald assassin Jack Ruby eventually died several years later. That’s a strange trio of death that will presumably lend the location quite a bit of dramatic heft, or at least the opportunity to throw in a couple of callback shots throughout the film.

Though Parkland will mark the directorial debut of Landesman, he’s a name that’s worked with Playtone before, as he already wrote a still-untitled film about Nixon informer Deep Throat for them that’s set to be directed by Jay Roach. It’s like I said, Tom Hanks is a sucker for ’60s history.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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