By Mike Scott, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
New details are emerging on “The Kennedy Detail” — the book-inspired, big-screen “answer to” Oliver Stone’s conspiracy-laden 1991 film “JFK.” Among the more intriguing, at least for local movie-goers: It is scheduled to start shooting in March in New Orleans, the same city in which Stone shot his film some 22 years ago.
That’s according to a news release sent out this morning (Jan. 7) by producers for the film, which is expected in theaters this fall, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. “The Kennedy Detail” will be directed and co-written by Stephen Gyllenhaal (“Paris Trout”), the father of sibling actors Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal.
The independent drama — a co-production of Atchity Entertainment International and Ramos & Sparks Group — will tell the story of John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination from the point of view of members of his Secret Service detail. The film’s producers, in a news release last spring announcing the film, said it is intended to be an answer to Stone’s “fanciful ‘JFK.’”
“JFK and his story will be brought to life with cutting-edge CGI and enhanced historical footage, allowing the actors to ‘interact’ with the ‘real’ 35th president,” Gyllenhaal said in the release. “The actors will also have direct access to (Secret Service) agents, now in their 80s, three of whom were within a few feet of the assassination.” ‘JFK and his story will be brought to life with cutting-edge CGI … allowing the actors to ‘interact’ with (him)” — director Stephen Gyllenhaal
Principal casting on the film is set to begin this week.
“The Kennedy Detail” is based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name written by former Secret Service agent Gerald Blaine — a former member of Kennedy’s security detail — with journalist Lisa McCubbin. The book has already spawned a Discovery Channel documentary, also called “The Kennedy Detail,” which was narrated by Martin Sheen and nominated in 2011 for a News and Documentary Emmy in the long-form historical programming category.
Among crew members announced this week are casting directors Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee (“The Help,” “Pineapple Express”); line producer Jennifer Roth (“Black Swan,” “The Wrestler”); production designer Lilly Kilvert (“Legends of the Fall,” “The Last Samurai”); costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo (“Avatar,” “Total Recall”); and screenwriters Gyllenhaal and Kathleen Kwai Ching.
In addition, Blaine and McCubbin will serve as associate producers, and former agent Clint Hill — the agent seen climbing onto the back of Kennedy’s limousine following the shooting — is serving as a special adviser.